How to Get Help for Teenage Depression
Teenage depression is a significant mental health issue that results in constant feelings of sadness or numbness and loss of interest in activities. With teen depression, it is common to see how the disorder significantly affects how teenagers think, feel, and behave. It may result in emotional, functional, and physical issues. Although depression can strike at any point in life, teen and adult symptoms may differ. Because it can impact people in different ways, knowing how to get help for teenage depression can be challenging.
This may be due to teenagers’ various social and developmental challenges, including peer pressure, fluctuating hormone levels, and physical development. In the worst-case scenarios, depression is linked to extreme levels of stress, anxiety, and suicide.
What Are the Signs of Depression in Teens?
Contrary to popular belief, depression does not only affect adults but can affect both teenagers and children too.
Typical signs of depression in teenagers are:
- Persistent sadness or a depressed state of mind
- Being perpetually unpleasant or grumpy
- Losing interest in activities they formerly found enjoyable
- Feeling worn out or fatigued
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Being unable to focus
- Reduced communication with family and friends
- Changes in eating habits or drastic weight changes
- Having significant weight changes
- Feeling unable to unwind or appear more drowsy than normal
- Feeling guilty or unworthy.
- Experience numbness or lack of emotion
- Having ideas or fantasies about injuring or killing oneself
- Harming themselves, such as by cutting or burning their skin
Causes of Teen Depression
Genes and other biological variables can raise a teen’s risk of getting depression. However, social and environmental factors also play a part. Teenage depression symptoms could be exacerbated or brought on by the things listed below:
Experiences of Stress from the Past and Present
Teenagers who have experienced violence or abuse may be more susceptible to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sudden stress, such as problems at home or school, or a loss of a loved one, may also worsen the symptoms of depression.
Peer bullying can make a teen’s life more stressful and have an impact on their self-esteem. This may then result in extreme feelings of weakness and hopelessness.
Additional Physical and Mental Issues
Teenage depression is linked to several other mental health conditions, such as eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, ADHD, or learning disorders. Teens who suffer from these issues may feel insecure and angry about their academic performance and social interactions. Similar to physical limitations, chronic illnesses might also contribute.
How to Get Help for Teenage Depression?
Don’t wait and hope those unsettling feelings will go away; depression can be severely destructive if left untreated. If you have reason to believe that a teenager is depressed, express your worries in a supportive, nonjudgmental manner. The problematic behaviors and emotions you’re observing are indications of a problem that needs to be handled, even if you’re not sure that depression is the problem.
Start a conversation with them and explain the symptoms you have seen that make you worried. Try not to be pushy or forceful when talking to them, and with their consent, visit the nearest hospital where they can get help from a professional.
Are There Teen Depression Treatment Programs?
Mild depression in children and teenagers is typically treated solely by psychotherapy. An antidepressant drug may be prescribed if the depression symptoms don’t start to get better after six to eight weeks or if they get worse.
Psychotherapy, as well as one or more prescribed drugs, are typically needed for adolescents with moderate to severe depression. This is called combination therapy. Combination treatment can boost self-confidence, coping skills, the likelihood that symptoms will improve, and connections with family and friends.
Get Help at the Adolescent Wellness Academy
The signs and symptoms of depression may continue to interfere with the day-to-day life of adolescents. Ignoring the symptoms in the bid that they’d get better with time is a bad decision as they would only get worse.