Depression And Public Health Essay

Decent Essays
There are many significant public health issues affecting our youth in today’s society. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 3.2 million adolescents are at risk for developing depression. The World Health Organization has predicted that by the year 2020, one of the largest disease burdens will be depression. Depression is an epidemic that is widespread among teens. It has an extraordinary impact on quality of life. Therefore, more research is necessary to determine what factors can reduce teen depressive rates. (Mammen and Falkner, 2013). Depression is a misunderstood disease. It is more than just sadness. The American Psychological Association describes people with depression as being disinterested and losing the pleasure they used to find in daily activities. Often times they will experience significant
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(Parker and Brotchie, 2011). If we know that low levels of Vitamin D in teens could contribute to depression through decreased brain and mood function, it is important to understand how many adolescents are experiencing Vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. In a 2004 study examining healthy adolescents, researchers measured vitamin D levels of 307 adolescents aged 11-18 years to test the hypothesis that VDD is prevalent among healthy adolescents. The research results determined that seventy-four patients (24.1%) were vitamin D deficient, of whom 14 (4.6%) were severely vitamin D deficient. (Gordon, DePeter, Feldman et al, 2004). This study is concerning because it supports that even healthy adolescents who are not experiencing depressive disorders are experiencing vitamin D deficiencies. Larger studies need to be conducted, not only examining healthy adolescents but also teens who are experiencing various
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