Alex Crotty was just 11 when things started feeling wrong.
“I didn't feel unloved. I just felt numb to the world. Like, I was surrounded by great things, but just I couldn't be happy. And I didn't know why that was,” Alex, told NBC News.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports one in five American children, ages 3 through 17 — some 15 million — have a diagnosable mental, emotional or behavioral disorder in a given year.
Recent research indicates serious depression is worsening in teens, especially girls and the suicide rate among girls reached a 40-year high in 2015, according to a CDC report released in August.
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Teens are known for their moodiness, and adolescence — a particularly turbulent time of life — is actually one of the most vulnerable periods to develop anxiety and depression. Some 50 percent of cases of mental illness begin by age 14, according to the American Psychiatric Association.