Plenty of people struggle with depression at some point in their lives, but adolescents are among the most affected by this mood disorder. Young adults go through life-changing experiences as they turn into adults that leave them confused, sad, and unable to properly cope with overwhelming feelings of angst. If you’re the parent or guardian of a teen, it’s important to be aware of how they’re feeling so you can find them the proper help.
Let’s take a deeper look at teen depression.
What is teen depression?
Teen depression can be defined as a mood disorder and is usually mistaken for rebellion. Depression can affect a teen’s way of thinking and behave, and even their academic participation. If left untreated, their behavioral issues can lead them into a life of trouble, unstable relationships, and a poor career history.
What causes teen depression?
Teen depression can be caused by a long list of things such as body and hormonal changes, expectations of academic success, and even peer pressure. When their temporary feelings of sadness and hopelessness elongate for weeks without an end in sight, it may be an indication that they’re depressed.
Divorced parents, learning disabilities, abuse, and neglect, can also cause teenage depression. Not to mention, a family history of depression can also be the cause of a teen’s mood disorder—major depression can be inherited through genetics. Additionally, substance abuse can intensify the feelings of hopelessness and loneliness that can lead the teen to depression as well.
What are the symptoms of teen depression?
Some symptoms of depression in teens can include lack of energy, loss of interest in favorite activities and hobbies, anxiety, panic, irritability, and drastic weight changes. Additionally, depressed teens can withdraw from friends and family and can even self-harm or develop suicidal thoughts.
If you’ve noticed any of these signs in yourself or a teen, depression may be the cause. There may be other underlying issues that can manifest themselves into depression during teen years. It’s important to get the proper help once these symptoms have come to light.
How can you help a teen with depression?
If you know a teen that’s going through depression, there are several ways in which you can help them. Firstly, you can be a shoulder to cry on and simply listen to what’s going on in their lives. Once they’ve expressed themselves, you can directly offer to find help or communicate to their parents what’s going on.
There are teen depression rehab centers that can help them get back on their feet so they can live a better life into adulthood. These residential treatment centers will have pediatricians, therapists, and psychiatrists, among other mental health professionals that can help the teen find a solution to their unique problems and stabilize their depression.
How can a teen get help for depression?
In other cases, a teen may seek help themselves, or their parents may opt for therapy for teens. Teenagers can go through individual therapy as well as family therapy so they can get the personalized help they need. Individual therapy can include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), sessions with psychiatrists, and medication to help treat their mood disorders. Engaging in family therapy will help the teen and their support system to improve their environment and communication skills to process any trauma with sustainable healing.
Moreover, the depressed teen can participate in intensive outpatient (IOP) group therapy for higher levels of support and customized treatments. This will help the teen build connections with other people who are going through similar problems, helping them cope with hopelessness in the process.
Teenage depression can be treated for a better quality of life.