Defending Depressed Kids

Fascinating research out of the UK this week could have helped teens like me. If only I could take this discovery into the way-back machine. 

The scientists found teens who had a genetic biomarker that showed a tendency toward depression also had trouble identifying emotions in a cognitive test done on computer.  Because the genetic test is so expensive, the researchers are pleased that they can administer the computer test and find the same results.

In a nutshell, kids who think poorly of themselves in stressful situations are more likely to become depressed.  These kids have no idea they actually have a choice in what they think. Heck, there are millions of adults who are slaves to whatever thought pokes its way into their head.  I wish they would teach that in school; that your automatic thoughts are an option, not necessarily the best option.  But I digress.

Identifying these adolescents with depressive tendencies can lead, scientists say, to early intervention with cognitive treatment to essentially teach them how to think in a way that doesn’t harm them and make them depressed.  If I were a billionaire, this is the kind of scientific study I’d support in a heartbeat.  Happier kids lead to happier adults and happier adults just lead to a million better decisions every day, that help people around them.  From taking a perceived (and the key word is PERCEIVED) slight with grace or humour to … whatever.  I personally believe mental health is the single most important health issue in society today. It’s so important, it tends to get completely overlooked.