Sophia is a 16-year old teen. For several months, she exhibited depressive symptoms, fatigue, concentrations problems at school, and the feeling that nothing was going to work as it had before. She had been waiting to see her family physician but the appointment was many weeks off. One evening, when she was very discouraged, she became suicidal. Her parents were very worried and took her to the nearest emergency department. At the hospital, the clinical team recommended that she be evaluated quickly by the Douglas Institute’s team in depression. She was referred and an appointment was made for later in the week. With this news, Sophia and her parents were reassured.

Sophia at the Douglas

After two visits to the Douglas, Sophia was diagnosed with major depression and different treatment options were proposed. At the same time, Sophia’s father was having problems, this time with alcohol. His drinking was contributing to Sophia’s despair. Thanks to multimodal intervention and care, Sophia, after a few months, was feeling better: she was seeing her friends again and taking an interest in what is going on around her. Her father was encouraged to seek help and was receiving care for his problems too. Nonetheless, Sophia’s parents remained concerned because Sophia was still having problems concentrating and being attentive. Her teachers felt she should be doing better in school than she was. At the Douglas, after evaluating her school report cards, talking with her teachers, and having several evaluations, Sophia was diagnosed with an attention deficit disorder. These problems were linked with her depressive symptoms and declining academic performance. Sophia now had support for attention deficit disorder. She was followed for a year by the team at the Douglas.

Sophia's life today

Today, Sophia has graduated and her renewed energy and creativity give hope that she will lead a full and productive life. Her father is proud to be sober for many months now. Sophia knows that if the need arises, she can contact the Douglas team anytime. It reassures her.
Sophia was fortunate to have parents who acted, an emergency room team which recognized the seriousness of her situation, and the Douglas’s Program for Depressive Disorders which help treat her and her dad. How to help those that are not so fortunate?

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