Teens are at their most hormonal stage in their entire life thus far. This is why so many teens are constantly moody and emotional, and sometimes unable to properly express their frustrations, happiness, confusion and so many other emotional states. However, for some teens it becomes more than just an emotional roller coaster ride. For some teens, depression might take over and surpass all of the other emotional turmoil the teen might be experiencing. There are many reasons as to why a teen could be depressed. Fortunately there are also ways to treat teen depression.
What is teen depression and what are some of the causes:
Depression is often described as a feeling of prolonged sadness and despair. There are many reasons as to why a teen might be going through teen depression including the inability to cope with daily stresses like trying to maintain good grades in school, struggling with learning, struggling with relationships, problems with social status and peers, peer pressure to do drugs, drinking, etc. Some teens might also have problems with bullying as well as discovering their own sexual orientation and more. Sometimes teen depression simply comes from an environmental stress like from what is going on around them. If the teen is having family problems or dealing with their parent's divorce, the loss or absence of a parent, these can all have an effect on what is going wrong with the teen, which might lead to teen depression.
Signs and symptoms of teen depression:
There are many ways you can watch the behaviors of your teen to see if they might be experiencing symptoms of teen depression. Many of the teens and even children that experience depression symptoms will sleep excessively or will have trouble sleeping. They will also be likely to show a change in their eating habits and may exhibit extreme behaviors like drinking, doing drugs, shoplifting and more. Keep in mind that not all teens with depression will show all of these signs, but if someone does show a good amount of the signs for an extended period of time.
- Difficulty concentrating
- Unexplainable pains like headaches, back pain, etc.
- Irresponsible behavior
- Memory loss
- Rebellious behavior
- Feeling of hopelessness
- Weight Gain or Weight Loss
- Withdrawal from friends
- Drop in grades
- Thoughts of suicide
- Harmful behaviors like cutting, burning and self-mutilation
- Suicidal tendencies
Treatment options for teen depression:
Once a teen has be diagnosed by a doctor or clinical therapist or psychologist, it is important that they begin receiving treatment right away. In the most extreme of circumstances, some teens may end up self-mutilating or even killing themselves if treatment does not occur. Unfortunately the majority of teens and adults with depression do not seek treatment for their depression symptoms. This is why it is extremely important for parents, teachers and friends of teens to be aware of the signs and symptoms of teen depression to help get their loved one treatment as soon as possible to prevent such dire circumstances as suicide. Treatment comes in many forms. For some teens therapy and support groups are a great way to deal with teen depression. Some teens might need intense therapy, while some might do better with support groups. Other teens might not feel comfortable with either option and might instead choose to begin treatments with medication using antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication. Some teens might do best in their recovery process from a using a combination of therapy and medication. However, antidepressants must be used and prescribed with caution especially among teens. The FDA warns that some types of antidepressant medications actually can increase the risk of suicide and suicidal thinking among children and teens with depression and other psychiatric disorders like bipolar or manic depression. If a teen is bipolar, that may carry similar symptoms to depression, but must be treated with an entirely different type of medication or risk increasing the likelihood of suicide. Unfortunately about 500,000 teens attempt to commit suicide each year and about 5,000 succeed in this attempt. Because these numbers have reached epidemic numbers, preventative measures are needing to be taken to an all-time high for parents, teens and peers of the teens at risk.