It is difficult to wrap one’s head around the idea of teen depression. After all, we were all teenagers once, and for most of us, there was no such thing.
Unfortunately, it is real.
Teen depression is a mental health problem where a teenager experiences feelings of despair, sadness, hopelessness, and/or anger for a long time. It could be weeks, months, or years.
In the study, “National Trends in the Prevalence and Treatment of Depression in Adolescents and Young Adults”, the authors concluded that there has been an increase in depression among adolescents and young adults. Moreover, they found that many young people are suffering from untreated depression. This is because there have been few changes in the methods used by modern treatment.
Such reports lead to the question: Why are teenagers depressed?
Causes of Teen Depression
There are several causes of teen depression, some of which include:
- Peer pressure
- Bullying and abuse
- Academic pressure
- Social pressure
- Changes to their bodies
- Family conflicts or broken families
- Experiencing trauma, for example, the loss of a loved one
- Family history of depression
Adolescents could be responding to one of these causes or a combination of them or others. It seems a bit complex because they don’t describe their experiences in the same way an adult would. Parents frequently only get to hear the statements: “You never listen to me” and “You don’t understand”.
Deep inside, though, they are crying out for help. They need someone to connect with them and let them know they are not alone. This is why rehabilitation for teen depression takes many approaches.
Teen depression treatment can involve family therapy, group therapy, individual therapy, or, ideally, a combination of all three. Modern teenage treatment centers often times employ a number of various treatments individually tailored to each case.
Symptoms to Look Out For
Signs of depression may be different between teens and adults. They can include:
- Prolonged sadness
- Anger and irritability
- Physical symptoms such as ulcers and migraines
- Insomnia at night but sleeping during the day
- Use of words like “stressed”
- Irresponsible behavior
- Neglecting hygiene
- Loss of interest in activities or spending time with friends
- Feelings of hopelessness and despair
- Substance abuse
- Sudden drop in school performance
What Can You Do?
Problems such as depression need great empathy, patience, wisdom, and understanding.
The pressures of life can overwhelm adolescents. They feel like they have no one to turn to for help. Teen treatment centers have experience in providing rehabilitation for teens. It is a different environment to their usual life.
Mental health professionals will be able to diagnose the depression. They can then use evidence-based therapies to treat the child. These treatments sometimes involve:
- One-on-one talk therapy
- Interpersonal therapy
- Cognitive and behavioral therapy
- Use of antidepressant medication
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
Other treatment options, such as equine therapy, are also available. The important thing is to get your teenager the help they need.
Remember, it is a great risk to leave depression untreated. Teen depression treatment prevents it from spiraling into suicidal thoughts. If it gets to that point, it can all-too-often be a race against time to save your child.
There is a lot to learn about teen depression. Please feel free to contact us to get more information.