Updated on October 1, 2020
Teens and Depression
Depression is a chronic mental disorder characterized by feelings of intense sadness, which last from a few days to several weeks. Feeling helpless or having no control over what is going on in life is a staple of depression, a treatable medical condition. Being depressed can lead to a litany of physical and mental issues that require long-term treatment.
Depression has several symptoms that could appear during the course of the illness, including a depressed mood, loss of energy, feeling guilty, insomnia, thoughts of death and reduced interest in pleasurable activities.
Depression in teens can be started by numerous catalysts, many of them school related. Teens deal with several depression triggers while at school, including bullying, troubles with the work load from classes and issues stemming from friends or romantic relationships. Anxiety, anger and avoidance of social interaction are also common amongst depressed teens. Finding out the underlying cause of why a teenager is depressed is very important in aiding in recovery.
Should your teen exhibit any of the numerous aforementioned symptoms of depression for at least a two-week period, an examination by a professional is highly suggested. It is tough to determine if your teenager is exhibiting signs of depression or typical mood swings, but a two-week period to gauge your child. While nearly every teen will experience some type of depression, four percent of teens are diagnosed with serious depression every year, proving that it is a serious issue. Noticing the many symptoms of depression early can prevent a teen from committing harm to themselves.
Treatment for Teen Depression
There are several forms of treatment for those that are diagnosed with depression. Treatment options for depression include taking antidepressants, participating in Psychotherapy sessions, and three procedures that involve that utilization of electricity. Electroconvulsive Therapy sends electric shocks to the brain, while Vagus Nerve Stimulation installs a pacemaker like device in the body to routinely send shocks to the brain. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation sends targeted shocks to specific parts of the brain.
Aside from the varying treatments, parents should teach strong coping mechanisms for their teenagers to utilize while in these tough situations. Different coping mechanisms range from taking interest in a hobby like painting or photography, getting exercise, or by participating in yoga. Parents of a depressed teenager should offer unconditional support for their child, being there to help the adolescent through the tough times they are enduring.