Therapy for Teenage Depression
Emotional upheaval is a typical characteristic of puberty, but sometimes it can be challenging to tell the difference between everyday teenage angst and a more severe mental health issue like depression. According to data from the World Health Organization, 10 to 20% of adolescents worldwide experience mental health conditions, but unfortunately, many of these go undiagnosed and untreated.
Teens grappling with challenges such as anxiety and depression are more likely to struggle socially and academically. They may also face stigma or bullying associated with being “different.” The consequences of failing to adequately address adolescent mental health conditions can extend to adulthood, limiting people’s opportunities to lead fulfilling lives. If you are a parent, what can you do about teen depression?
Teens and Depression
Depression is on the rise among American teens, with American teen girls now facing depression at a rate three times higher than their male counterparts. Though mental health disorders can occur for a host of complex reasons, many experts believe genetics plays a significant role. If you have a family history of depression, that could be cause for concern that your teen will eventually experience mental health challenges of their own.
Many teens with depression have a co-occurring disorder such as anxiety, bipolar, trauma, body dysmorphia, substance abuse or antisocial behavior. Today’s adolescents also may be at risk for more lifestyle-related stress due to the always-on nature of social media and the 24-hour news cycle. Many teens – and adults, for that matter – lack the coping skills necessary to handle a relentless barrage of alarming headlines.
Recognizing Teen Depression Symptoms
We all get the blues now and again, but depression is more than a temporary bad mood. It is a serious condition that comes with mental and physical symptoms. A depressed person can’t will themselves to feel better or cheer up at the drop of a hat. Persistent feelings of sadness and worthlessness can cause them to behave unpredictably, such as lashing out or bursting into tears at the slightest provocation.
For a teen with depression, everyday activities such as showering or doing homework can feel like an insurmountable challenge. Some warning signs of teen depression include:
- A loss of interest in sports or other hobbies
- Trouble concentrating or remembering facts
- Sleeping or eating noticeably more or less than usual
- Struggling to keep up academically
- An ongoing sense of impending disaster
- Suicidal thoughts or behavior
- Frequent, unexplained body aches or headaches
- Self-harm, such as cutting or burning
- Lack of attention to hygiene or grooming
- Agitation or restlessness
- Use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs
Where to Find Help for Teen Depression
The teen years can be uniquely challenging for many reasons – peer pressure, the onset of physical and hormonal changes, expectations to succeed academically – but mood disorders don’t have to be one of them. Pine Grove offers a treatment program designed specifically for the needs of children and adolescents. Our treatment team includes board-certified child and teen psychologists to address your child’s needs in a safe, welcoming environment. We offer individual therapy for depression and anxiety, in addition to family therapy. Contact us today for more information about any of our specialized services.