Category Archives: Children

Study Finds Even Preschoolers Can Be Depressed

Children can and do suffer from depression, however, even very small children can suffer from depression a new study has found. The researchers discovered that preschoolers who suffer from depression are also likely to experience a recurrence of their depressive symptoms throughout childhood.

Most childhood depression studies carried out to date have focussed on school age children of around 6 years old and older. Now, according to this recent study by L. Luby et al, from the Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, even 3 year olds can show signs of suffering from major depression.

The study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry involved around 250 preschool children between the ages of 3 and 5 who were regularly assessed for signs of depression over a period of 6 years.

Of the 74 children diagnosed with depression at the start of the trial, around 50 percent went on to meet the criteria for depression 6 years later compared to only 24 percent of those who were not depressed at the start of the study.

The study also involved evaluating the relationship between the child and their parents/caregivers through two way mirrors and asking the children’s’ parents/caregivers questions on the child’s moods, emotions, playtime activities, and appetite and sleep patterns.

Children whose mother’s suffered from depression were more likely to suffer from depression themselves later on. However, the biggest risk for suffering from depression in childhood was being diagnosed with depression as a preschool child.

“Preschool depression predicted school-age depression over and above any of the other well-established risk factors” Luby said.

“Those children appear to be on a trajectory for depression that’s independent of other psychosocial variables.”

Difficult and Challenging

However, diagnosing depression in very young children is a lot more difficult and challenging than diagnosing depression in older children or adults, mainly because very young children either cannot articulate exactly how they are feeling or they find it difficult to find the words to express themselves accurately. Diagnosing depression is extremely important though because the earlier it is identified the more successful the treatment.

The biggest challenge with childhood depression is really recognising it in the first place. This is because not all children who are suffering from depression appear sad and unhappy and not all children who are sad and unhappy are suffering from depression. The symptoms may also differ depending on the age of the child and whether the child is able to speak or not.

Symptoms of depression in older children

Although it is still challenging diagnosing depression in older children, it is still easier than recognising it in very young children. The following is not an exhaustive list but these symptoms can be an indication of depression.


  • Poor performance at school
  • Self depreciating and feeling unworthy
  • Think they are unlovable and unloved
  • May speak of or be preoccupied with themes of death or dying
  • May intentionally hurt themselves
  • Frequent bouts of unexplained illness
  • Low moods and appears sad most of the time
  • No longer enjoying activities they used to
  • Sensitivity to criticism
  • Anxiety and excessive worrying
  • Emotional outbursts and crying frequently
  • Permanently bored
  • Defiant behaviour
  • Poor conduct
  • Major changes to appetite with weight gain or weight loss
  • Major changes to sleep patterns with sleeping to much or too little

Symptoms of depression in preschool children

This is much more difficult, not just to correctly diagnose depression but also because a lot of mental health professionals don’t acknowledge that depression can exist in a very young child as it still isn’t accepted in mainstream psychiatric circles. According to Luby it definitely does exist although she recognises that it isn’t common at about 1 or 2 percent.

Luby says an exceptionally ‘good’ child may actually be a depressed child as kids as young as this “are not disruptive in their environment” and she described them as “the wheel that’s not squeaky.”

A young child who is suffering from depression may also look sad and generally unhappy and show an inability to enjoy activities that most other preschool children are able to enjoy.

Guilt is another indicator, in that if something goes wrong, the child feels as though they are somehow to blame and it is their fault.

If these sorts of symptoms persist for longer than a week or two, then it is time to seek help says Luby.

Treatment for preschool depression

Medication combined with cognitive therapy is the standard treatment for children and adults suffering from major depression, however, this isn’t the case for very young children. Luby recommends psychotherapy in the form of play therapy and she is currently developing a treatment that will involve parent/child interaction therapy.

Medication is absolutely not the way forward she says as the drugs given to older children haven’t been tested in very young children.


Depression In Children May Be Contagious


We all know that kids can catch infectious childhood illnesses from each other but who would have thought that depression could be passed on? Many studies have already revealed that peer group pressure can influence children and that if a child is particularly disruptive he or she can influence other children, but now a recent study has found that depression and anxiety can be contagious too.


The study was run by Rebecca Schwartz-Mette at the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri. A total of 274 same sex friendship pairs were involved in the study, which took place over a six month period. There were two separate age groups, younger children from Grades 3 and 5 and adolescents from grades 7 and 9. The kids completed measures of depressive and anxiety symptoms, co-rumination, and self disclosure.


The researchers found that depression was contagious amongst them all and anxiety was contagious amongst girls and older boys.


Co-rumination a major factor


Further analysis of the data identified that co-rumination had a major influence on the contagious effect. Rumination literally means to chew something over for an extended period of time so co-rumination basically means discussing negative or depressive feelings in depth with someone else. The results suggest that over time, children who are exposed to persistent rumination somehow internalize these feelings.


“These finding highlight a previously unstudied risk factor for the development of internalizing symptoms in childhood” said Schwartz-Mette.


“Most important, a mechanism that helped to account for depression and contagion was identified”.


Home environment irrelevant


What this suggests is that regardless of a child’s home environment and whether it’s a stable and happy one or not, if they are constantly analyzing and discussing negative feelings, anxieties and emotions with their friends, their mental health may suffer as a result.


It is normal for children to have fears, worries and anxieties at certain times, however, when these symptoms become so severe that it is distressing enough to affect a child’s daily life then it’s time to seek help. For example, if a child is so anxious that they are terrified to go out, fall asleep, or be on their own, or if they become excessively clingy and tearful and there is no obvious reason for this, then it may be an idea to seek professional help.


Anxiety and depression in children


According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, there are around 3,000 youngsters suffering from an anxiety disorder in the UK alone. However, this isn’t the whole picture as there are many more that say nothing and basically suffer in silence.


Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem to affect children. There are several different types of anxiety disorders and these are:


  • General Anxiety Disorder – constant worry about anything and everything – not specific to one thing


  • Separation Anxiety Disorder – anxiety related to being away from home or separate from parents or loved ones


  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – obsessive thoughts which may result in irrational compulsive rituals in order to deal with these thoughts, for example, obsessing about cleanliness and constantly hand washing


  • Social Phobia – intense fear of social situations, speaking in front of other people, participating in group events etc.,


  • Panic Disorder – recurring panic attacks


  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance techniques that can develop some time after an intensely traumatic event was experienced or witnessed.


Depression can affect anyone at any age including children. It’s shocking that as recent as thirty years ago, many mental health professionals believed that children were not able to suffer from depression because it was believed they were not emotionally mature enough to feel hopeless. We now know this is simply not true.


There is no single reason as to why anxiety and depression affects one child and not another but there are some pointers. For example, youngsters who are less confident socially may worry more. Children who have experienced a traumatic event or situation may feel more anxious. If a child is having difficulty at school or is being bullied they may feel isolated and depressed.


Most children cope very well with their fears and anxieties but for some, the feelings can become disabling and if not dealt with may persist into adulthood. Also, a child who is anxious is more likely to become depressed and a child who is already suffering from depression is more likely to suffer from anxiety too.


Childhood is supposed to be a happy time but unfortunately, this is not always the case. However, help is available if a child is suffering from depression and/or anxiety and it doesn’t necessarily mean taking prescription drugs. Talking Therapies are proving to be highly effective as they help a child make positive changes to the way they think and view a situation, which in turn helps them to cope with their fears and anxieties.



Brain changes in Adolescents maltreated as children

An interesting but small study by researchers at the Yale School of Medicine and recently published in the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine has found that adolescents who experienced abuse or neglect as children, had less grey matter in the part of the brain that deals with emotions and impulses, although they had not been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder.


MRI scans showed reductions in prefrontal cortex


The study involved 42 adolescents who completed questionnaires designed to measure their perceived experience of emotional or physical neglect or abuse. Using MRI scans, the researchers found that there were reductions in the prefrontal cortex in all cases where the youngsters reported that they had been maltreated.


“Though these kids do not have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder, they are still showing physical signs of maltreatment,” said Hilary Blumberg, associate professor of psychiatry in the Child Study Center and the senior author of the study.


“The results could explain possible difficulties in school or future depression or behavioral issues.”


The children in this study will continue to be tracked to see if they do develop psychiatric disorders in the future.


Cerebellum and Insula


In the meantime, the researcher’s claim that other areas of the brain affected was linked to whether the child was male or female and whether they claimed they suffered physical or emotional abuse or neglect.


For example, neglect showed up in reductions in the Cerebellum, the part of the brain regulating pleasure and fear, and physical abuse showed up as a reduction in the Insula, a part of the brain controlling self awareness.


Everett Waters, professor of psychology at the State University of New York said that the results only show a correlation, they don’t prove that abuse or neglect in childhood leads to changes in the brain.


Gender differences


In girls the reduction was more concentrated in areas dealing with emotion and in boys the grey matter was reduced in areas to do with impulses. As depression is associated with an inability to regulate emotions, this findings highlights the fact that depression is higher in women than in men according to Jennifer Pfeifer, Assistant professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon.


Both Pfeifer and Waters maintain that longer studies are required that will track children from infancy in order to understand the development of structural brain changes.


Some more resilient than others


Some adolescents, said Blumberg, seemed more resilient to the effects of maltreatment than others despite some physical symptoms. Pfeifer and her colleague Philip Fisher also from University of Oregon suggested two possible reasons for this.


One is that the changes in the amount of grey matter makes the adolescents more vulnerable to psychological problems and these just haven’t happened yet, and the other is that the adolescents who are resilient have found other ways of adapting to their circumstances.


“It is also possible that brain problems led to the kids being abused,” Waters said, “or more likely, that some third factor led to both the brain problems and the abuse.”


The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.



Heavier children more likely to have social problems

In the Western world obesity is reaching epidemic proportions, and now more children are overweight than ever before. Apart from the obvious health problems associated with carrying round extra weight like an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, it seems mental health might be at stake too.

More likely to suffer emotionally and socially

A recent study carried out by Australian researchers found that obese 8 and 9 year olds were more likely to suffer emotionally and socially than other children who were not overweight reports Health Day News.

The children who had a high BMI (body mass index) before the age of 5 had up to a 20 percent greater risk of suffering socially by the time they reached the age of 9.

Which comes first?

One question that has often been asked is whether social problems lead to weight gain or whether it’s the other way round.

“There have been a number of studies over the past 5 to 10 years looking at whether or not obesity in young children and adolescents is related to emotional, behavioral and mental health problems,” noted Dr. Julie Lumeng, an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics and communicable diseases at University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

“There’s been a lot of discussion about which direction that relationship goes in — does obesity cause children to be unhappy, or is it that unhappy children are more likely to become obese? Many people think it goes in both ways.”

According to the researchers being overweight may have contributed to their unhappiness perhaps as a result of being teased or socially ostracized.

However, the researchers also note that the effect of obesity may be different in countries where obesity levels are higher. In the Australian sample of 3,363 children only 4 or 5 percent were obese whereas in the United States the number of obese children is around 17 percent.

Fast foods and video games don’t help

These days with fast foods and video games children are not getting the kind of nutrition children had in the past and are also spending a lot more time slumped in front of a screen indoors instead of running around outside.

There is little doubt that children who are overweight are more likely to face problems with self esteem and to suffer health problems than children who are not. It has to be said that unless parents take more responsibility for their children’s weight earlier in life through improved nutrition and adequate exercise, the extra pressure on a child from carrying around extra pounds is bound to take its toll at some point either physically or mentally or both.

Childhood Mental Ailments Targeted With New Treatments

The causes which underlie childhood obsessive compulsive disorder along with Tourette’s are to be targeted by new treatment options.

To date there have been many similarities in how these two disorders have been treated, pertaining to their sharing of similarities in their psychiatric features, the genetic factors inherent, and the environment in which they present themselves.

But more effective treatments are now being put forward.

The Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology is a peer-reviewed journal that in its latest issue contains the new ideas. The Guest Editor, one Barbara J. Coffey, MD, MS concludes that “studies are still few, and validated predictors, moderators and mediators of treatment response are still very much needed.”


Promise has been shown for the treatment of the conditions by Riluzole, a drug used for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It is evidential from clinical trials taking place that it can also be used for treatment of OCD in children, however there is further study needed to access the side effects. The potential of this drug being used in this way is outlined by Jane Song, Paul Grant, and Susan Swedo of the National Institute of Mental Health as, being of potential benefit in helping to control the symptoms of OCD.


This benefit is possible based on Riluzole’s ability to block the releasing of glutamate from nerve cells. It has been used at therapeutic doses, yet there have been instances of pancreatitis in children to date as a side effect of use, which is causing concern obviously.

Tourette’s Breakthrough

The vocal tics associate with Tourette’s have undergone new study too, with the avenue of new treatments the goal. It has been determined that these vocal tics occur because of how neural networks, brain circuits, and chemical neurotransmitters behave in the affected person.

Brain Images

It is now expected that new brain scanning technology will help to find a better treatment allowing for more specific targeting of brain regions as can be pin pointed through the brain imaging.

Infectious Disease Onset

It is also being discussed in this new edition of the journal how infectious diseases may lead to the onset of such conditions, with Streptococcus becoming increasingly linked with certain Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders.

There is a push given for the link between infectious diseases and these conditions to be further explored, and a panel of experts setup for the exploration of new treatments based on the infectious disease mechanism.


Tourette’s syndrome affects the brain. It is mainly evident in its causing movements outside of the control of the individual and leading to the development of nervous tics. In milder cases it is less likely that the condition will ever be diagnosed.

In the main if Tourette’s is to present itself in the individual then it will do so when the child is quite young, usually between the ages of five and seven years old.


There are new behaviour therapies for Tourette’s increasingly becoming available. These can be in the restraining therapy form, which can serve to counter the nervous tic associated with the condition.

Exposure and response therapy is another method of treatment which has the same function. Talking therapy has been found to deal with the condition also. Here it is evident that just talking through the condition with a psychotherapist, may lead to the individuals’ ability to cope with their condition.

The bulk of the medicines currently in use to better the condition are along the lines of neuroleptics, they do however come with certain side effects which may leave the individual having a ‘jerk’ response giving the illusion that the condition is getting worse and not better. This is only at first however and the condition will become less severe with time.

Mood Disturbed by TV and Computers in the Bedroom

Light is a very powerful drug, or so it has been concluded by new research that determines it is indeed bad for your mental well being to leave the TV on while you rest, the same is true for computers or even your fancy phone. In effect doing this will put you at risk from suffering from depression, or if you are depressed it will be of zero benefit towards your recovery.

The research to this end has been conducted using hamsters, but it combines with other research that was conducted with humans and animals, this research has concluded that for all creatures of this ilk exposure even to a low level of light can lead to a plethora of ailments.

The health consequences are inclusive of some cancers, disorders pertaining to sleep and even weight gain.

Dark Shades

The author of the study one Tracy Bedrosian, a doctoral student of neuroscience at The Ohio State University in Columbus said, “We’ve set up a link between exposure to light at night with depression in these animals, If it does apply to humans, people might want to think about getting dark shades, not leaving the TV on all night long, and making sure to give themselves darkness when they go to sleep.”

Cause Unknown

Whilst it is evident that the numbers now suffering from depression has seen a steady growth in recent decades, it has been difficult for doctors to really pin point any one definitive reason for the increase. It has been suspected however that light disturbance may be one of these reasons.

It seems natural to follow on that this may be one of the problems behind the surge given that people have become increasingly exposed to different sources of light not natural in origin, over the past century. There is the constant whirring of computers in bedrooms and people are increasingly tending to fall asleep without turning off the TV.

Night Shift

It has been determined through investigation also that those who are earning their living working night shifts are far more likely to suffer from a sleep disorder than those who do not, and gain rest when they should be getting that rest as dictated by nature.


The test was conducted using 16 hamsters in all to find this link between depression and light. The Ohio state University researchers placed all of the animals under bright lights for 16 hours a day. Half of these hamsters were then allowed to experience true darkness whilst the other 8 were exposed to light that would be consistent with the glow of the television in a darkened room.

After 8 weeks it was found that those who were forced to withstand the low level light in conjunction with their 16 hours a day light outline scored lower in a number of mood tests. The results were made public at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

Less Enjoyment

The signs of mood are difficult to determine in animals but the hamsters drank 20% less sugar water than the group who were permitted a rest phase in absolute darkness. This lack of drinking it is suggested by the scientists is confirmation that the hamsters just weren’t getting the same enjoyment out of the things they used to enjoy, what you may recognise as a symptom of depression.

It was even noted that the low level light exposed hamsters actually gave up their swimming activities more readily than the other group also. Scans of the brains of the hamsters revealed a stark difference in the hippocampus region of the brain between the two groups.

Brain Images

The group who had the extra light had fewer of the hair like growths (dendric spines) growing in this region of the mind, indicative that there was not as much communication going on between the nerve cells pertaining to this region. This very same low density of hair like growths of the hippocampus has been observed in humans suffering from major depression.


An explanation has been offered by the researches as to why this may be the case. It is they say in a hormone called melatonin. Once we are in a state of darkness production of this hormone heightens in the body, this hormone has broad influence on us. It has antioxidant qualities, it promotes a dropping off into sleep, it allows for other hormones to be released in a controlled fashion, and indeed it is a regulatory hormone for the circadian rhythms.

The wrong amount of this hormone can be released even after experiencing a small volume of ambient light at night time, so too what is produced might come to us when it is not needed, which can lead to many problems for the human as well as the animal. This is according to Phyllis Zee, director of the Sleep Disorders Program at Northwestern University in Chicago. Other studies have also implicated that problems are created in the body pertaining to mood disorders sleep disturbance and diabetes as a result of misappropriation of this hormone.

Powerful Drug

“They’re all somehow related, and perhaps melatonin helps explain why there is this very strong relationship between depression, sleep, and circadian rhythms, as well as obesity and metabolism. Light affects so many biological systems, light is a very powerful drug for the brain.”

Second-hand Smoke may Affect Kids’ Mental Health

A new study has suggested that not only is breathing in second hand smoke bad for your physical well being, but your mental health also.  The study has forged a connection between taking in second hand smoke and the developments of behaviour disorders like ADHD.

Kids of mothers who failed to give up smoking during the pregnancy were also found to be more likely to suffer as a result according to the new study.

Behaviour Effect Unknown

Whilst it has been known for a long time that it was a cause of heart problems and breathing issues it was not known to have a direct effect of behaviour until now.

Dr. Bruce Lanphear, head of the Cincinnati Children’s Environmental Health Centre said, “It’s time for us to begin to prevent children’s exposure to (second-hand smoke) if we are serious about preventing these diseases,” He went on to state, “We have sufficient evidence to prevent many of these diseases, but we don’t.” This doctor was not involved in the study itself.

Nationally Representative Sample

Involved in the study however, was lead study author Frank Bandiera of the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. He studied, and determined the link by amassing a very large range of individuals for the study, managing to attain a nationally representative sample for this study of the link between the inhalation of second hand smoke and mental health.

The youths used in the study were close to 3000 people aged 8-15.

The level of cotinine in the body was measured. Cotinine is what forms as a by-product of nicotine breakdown. The level of the substance in each youth’s blood was measured to determine if the child had been exposed to second hand smoke.

In the instances where there were very high levels of the substance in the body, it was determined that the child themselves were smokers, as a result they were removed from the study to stay rigid in its attempting to deal exclusively with the second hand smoke issue.

From here interviews were conducted with all participants to determine if there was a manifestation of a mental or a behavioural disorder.

Male V’s Female

When factors such as age and race were taken into account it was found that males were more likely to suffer from ADHD if they had been exposed. They were also likely to show signs of anxiety, depression and control disorder than those who had not been exposed. On the female side it was found that they were only more likely to suffer from ADHD or anxiety.

Whilst a link has been proven, the number of children affected within the selected group was quit low, with only 7% of the children having enough of the symptoms pertaining to ADHD in order to be diagnosed with it. Of the kids only 15 had depression and just 9 showed signs of an anxiety disorder.

Research Difficulties

One acknowledgement made is that there is a difficulty in trying to separate damage done by second hand smoke, and damage done by smoking, whilst the child is in the womb. The authors have noted that there is more research necessitated to determine just how kids’ brains could be affected by second hand smoke.

Whilst they admit that the study does not prove beyond doubt that there is a direct relationship, it should still give a push to parents not to subject their children to second hand smoke. The research did however come online with the backing of further research that denotes how the exposure caused poor mental health in about 900 young people.

It would be a ‘surprise’ if there was no link between the two said one of the study authors. With the Attorney General predicting that up to 60% of children are exposed, the authors pushed that smoking needs to be banned in all public places.

Relapse Risk for Recovered Hard to Treat Depression Teens

Those young people, who get to the remission stage by the time six months have passed, are still at risk of relapse according to new research now published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

These teens are ones who are dealing with hard to treat depression; the data which backs up the relapse prognosis is from long term analysis from a NIMH-funded study. The end result of the research is a reiteration that there is a need for highly aggressive treatment needed for teenagers who have stubborn hard to eradicate depression.

The name of the study was: Treatment of Resistant Depression in Adolescents (TORDIA) study. Those young people who had shown no signs of improvement from their depression in the initial action when serotonin uptake inhibitor antidepressants were used, were given a random assigning to the study. Four different interventions were possible, each of which would last for 12 weeks.

There was the opportunity to switch to a different drug of this nature (SSRI) or to a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, so too the patients could have had their drug treatment changed to venlafaxine plus CBT.

After a six month period, four in ten of the subjects experienced total remission from their depression. At that point they were removed from the study and directed to continue with their care within their own community, with their only return booked in for a year and a half down the line.

Out of 334 young people who had commenced the study more than 60% had reached the point of remission by the year and a half period. There were some patients who even at this point still complained of experiencing residual symptoms, these symptoms included low self esteem, fatigue, and irritability.

If there was more severe depression evident at this ‘baseline’ point of a year and a half those individuals were less likely to arrive at remission at the end point, whilst those who were early responders perhaps within the first month and a half of treatment were more likely to get to the point of remission. The drugs applied in the initial treatment it was evident, didn’t influence the time at which remission occurred or the rate of remission.

The study found that whilst 130 participants had show remission by the six month mark, more than a quarter of these had a relapse by the year and a half point. It was noted that whites stood a smaller chance of relapse than ethnic minorities.

It was concluded by the study authors that effective interventions are needed early in the process of treatment, this was needed as more than a third of the teenagers in the study did not recover at all, and the quarter of all relapses was a very high stat. The authors also determined from the study that there is a need for new methods to make an accurate identification of who will and who will not, respond early to treatment.

Children Respond Positively to Mother’s Depression Cure.

A new study which has appeared in The American Journal of Psychiatry has shown that the children of mums who had a depressive disorder of a major nature have show real positive outcomes in themselves in the 12 months after their mum has shown a response to treatment.

The improvement experienced by the children is that psychiatric symptoms improve all round. It has become evident over the years that the children of depressed parents are increasingly likely to develop psychological conditions of their own

The findings have been described as ‘encouraging’ by the authors of the study. According to the authors the improvement on both counts ‘represents an improvement in a child’s future prospects’.

80 mothers were taken as subject matter for the National Institute of Mental Health Study entitled ‘STAR*D,’ or Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression. The study was an analysis of how remission affects children. In the study all children were between the ages of 7 and 17. Myrna Weissman, Ph.D. said, “STAR*D was designed to offer a sequence of treatments to patients who didn’t respond to the first, or second, or even third treatment. This study shows that remission, even after several months of treatment, can have major positive effects not only for the patient, but also for her children.”

Overall psychosocial functioning in school and at home was found to improve in the children once the mother was in remission, with the children of those who only began to improve late into their treatment also experiencing very positive results, unless it was with regards to ‘functioning,’ in this case there was little or no improvement in the children of the mother.

There were likely residual effects from the lengthily depression suffered with long term consequences for the functionality of the children. The study also observed how children of mums who showed no improvement, also showed no improvement and in themselves showed an actual increase in disruptive behaviours.

Acne Leads to Depression in Teenagers

It has been confirmed by a new review that just like teenagers have always known, there is a correlation between the acne on their faces and the onslaught of depression behind their eyes. Also low self esteem occurs in many cases where teenagers suffer from the skin disorder.

The review took into account the findings of 16 different studies to come up with the findings, and whilst the review claims that it has not concluded outright that acne causes emotional problems of this nature, it does point that way.

Review author Dr Steven R. Feldman has spoken about the review, the professor of dermatology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine has outlined his belief that; acne is definitely worth treating and not only because of the permanent scarring that the condition can leave behind. The review was launched at a time according to the doctor when a growing interest in the links between skin conditions and emotional disorders was emerging. He also spoke of how psoriasis sufferers are also more culpable to other ailments such as arthritis, heart disease and issues of a mental nature.

It has been known for a long time that acne has been a major problem for teenagers, conflicting with their self image and worse. Whilst it can also affect older persons it is predominantly an older person’s problem. The study that Doctor Feldman created looked into specifically the effects tat acne dictated on the quality of life of sufferers. Of the 16 studies which were used in the review many of these included not only young subjects but older ones too.

Overall the review which has been published in the Dermatology Online Journal makes the suggestion that acne can have a real negative affect on the quality of life of the young person, it can also affect mood and self esteem in adolescents according to the study, with one of the 16 studies used in the review detailing how 9% of teenagers with the skin disorder also demonstrated symptoms of depression.

This high rate is according to the review up to four times higher than that considered to be the norm. The findings really are quite inconclusive, with the study pointing out that there is a link, but surprisingly it also suggests that there is a tenuous link that points out that stress itself can cause skin disorders.

Therefore it is not outlandish to summate that depression may itself be one of the causes of acne, and vice versa in a circle of viciousness for the teenage sufferer.

With acne being largely treatable there is a ray of hope for teenagers suffering in their appearance and in their minds. Whilst accutaine (isotretinoin) has been blamed for the cause of depression in itself, it has demonstrated resounding results in clearing the condition in millions of teenagers. Despite the emergence of information detailing dangerous side effects it still remains the most popular and powerful drug out there for the treatment of the skin condition. Injections are also increasingly being used for treatment, and there is a host of over the counter creams and ointments available too.