Hormonal Honeys – Ages 12 to 15 – Suffer from Increased Rate of Depression

There are numerous reasons, why adolescent girls suffer from three- times more depression.  Hormones are #1 – and should never be overlooked.  Hormone imbalance is epidemic and should be looked at first before these innocent young girls are labeled, stigmatized and put on synthetic hormones and anti-depressants. Another reason often overlooked, is that adolescent girls have very few mentors – and no sense of their history (Her-Story), value or worth. Carol Gilligan wrote in her groundbreaking book, In A Different Voice, Women’s Conception of Self and Morality, that by the time girls hit puberty, they shove their values under the carpet…. to be accepted by the men in their lives. That alone is depressing.

Please see my comment at the end of the article.

One more thing, which I chose not to post on Huff Post, and that is the effect we know that the HPV vaccine, Gardasil is having on the neurological, endocrine and immune systems of thousands of adversely injured girls. Many of these girls are depressed over losing their health….sadly they have not related it back to the vaccine.

Depression In Girls Triples Between Ages 12 And 15

Huffington Post
by Catherine Pearson
July 25, 2012

New government data shines a light on just how many pre-teen and teenage girls may grapple with depression, finding that adolescent girls suffer from depression at a rate nearly three times that of boys their age.

And between the ages of 12 and 15, the percentage of girls experiencing depression triples, according to new figures released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“The take-home here is that we need to look for depression in girls starting earlier,” said Tami Benton, executive director of the department of child and adolescent psychiatry and behavioral science at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who reviewed the new data brief.

“Parents need to listen to their kids when they talk about things like bullying. We need to listen when our kids tell us they’re feeling down or sad, or if we see a decline in school functioning, appetite and social functioning,” she added.

The new data came from the 2008 to 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which rely on questionnaires and face-to-face surveys. Between the ages of 12 and 15, the percentage of girls who reported experiencing a major depressive episode in the past year jumped from 5 to 15 percent respectively.

A depressive episode was defined as a period of two weeks or longer during which teens experienced a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure, along with other changes in day-to-day functioning, like a loss of sleep or appetite or changes in concentration.

The figures also suggest that an average of 1.4 million girls between ages 12 and 17 experienced one of those episodes within the last year — a rate that is nearly three times that of their male peers.

Read Full Article…

Leslie Carol Botha Comment

Thank you Catherine for another informative article.  What you have described amongst young girls is hormone imbalance: “a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure, along with other changes in day-to-day functioning, like a loss of sleep or appetite or changes in concentration.”

Unfortunately, women are experiencing hormone imbalance at all ages. It is epidemic. 

Most women have become estrogen dominant because of the build-up of synthetic estrogen in the body do to the mother’s use of synthetic hormones for contraception (some have been passing these synthetics down for multiple generations), BPA in plastics, household toxins, meats and water supplies.

If mothers of these young girls tracked their menstrual/hormone cycles, my guess – based on 30 yrs experience –  is that the ‘depression’ would be cyclical, occurring during the paramenstrum (premenstrual and menstrual cycle phase).  Charting hormone changes is a very powerful tool – and if a young girl understands that the depression is hormonal – and a phase – then preventive nutritional measures – not drugs – can be used to supplement/strengthen her changing body.

Also girls entering menarche will experience hormone changes up to two years before they experience their first period.

Let’s explore hormone imbalance first, before our ‘Hormonal Honeys’ are ‘labeled’ and stigmatized at such an early age. That only opens the doors for drug therapies instead of education and nutritional support.

In addition, research is showing that many women engage in self-destructive or addictive/compulsive behaviors prior to menstruation. There are some addiction recovery programs that are beginning to understand this and effectively treat women with amino acid nutritional support that target the neurotransmitters  – repairing the brain damage – and in doing so assisting with immune and endocrine system/hormone balancing. 

Likewise there is a growing awareness that addiction relapse in women most often occurs during the paramenstrum.  Relapse is preventable, manageable and treatable with the right nutritional support.

Hormones are the body’s regulators and communicators. They play a vital role in the health and functioning in both women and men. When hormone functioning is disrupted all sorts of mental/emotional and pathological problems occur.

Unfortunately, the only education women receive is on reproductive health – which – because it is based on ‘sex’ – is a hot topic – especially during election years. 

What we have totally overlooked is ‘Menstrual Health Education’.  Women at all ages become empowered with understanding how vital this cycle is to their health – and how changing hormones affect their behaviors. It is the difference between feeling like you have to ‘control’ yourself vs. ‘trust’ yourself.


Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.