Teen depression is very real; it exists. And it comes at the time when young people are supposed to enjoy themselves and to learn more about life and living. Teen depression dampens the spirit and prevents many young people from experiencing the most during this wonderful stage. As it is, teenagers have already a lot to deal with, as they face the many challenges at school, at home, with friends and in themselves. And as this is also the time when hormonal changes take place, the teenager is normally confused and easily distracted. Thus, when teen depression hits, the young person gets completely lost and feel totally helpless. Yet, teen depression can be duly addressed and with the help of responsible adults, the teenager would be able to recover and regain control of his life.
Young people afflicted with teen depression need not despair for there is help available. Their parents can also look forward to a more cheerful time ahead if they can get timely and appropriate help for their children. They can consult with the many professionals available who have had experience with dealing with teen depression. They can either see their family physician for the first line of treatment or school counselor who may refer them to a psychiatrist or therapist. Most mental health providers are knowledgeable and experienced in treating the different forms of depression in both adults and teenagers as their depressive symptoms are very much the same.
Teen Depression Gives Rise to Confusion and Distress
The teenager’s life is a transitional phase. Often, parents get confused as they observe their children change before their very eyes. It is as if they suddenly acquire a new personality and many of their old habits have been replaced with new ways and interests. Children who have been cheerful and bubbly may transform into a sad adolescent who is indifferent to everything that goes on around them. This should be considered as a warning sign and parents should look out for the manifestation of other symptoms as well. Depressed teenagers exhibit an abrupt change in their appetite that can result in rapid weight gain or weight loss. Another red flag is preferred isolation and withdrawal from friends and family.
Teen depression can lead to substance abuse – alcohol or drugs, sometimes both. And this can be very distressing to parents and siblings. Depressed teenagers find difficulty in coping with school requirements. Even if they used to be diligent students excelling in academics and other activities, depression can turn them around into being mediocre performers. Teen depression cannot be traced to a single cause. Rather, it is a result of many convoluted factors. There are several forms of treatment that can be employed to deal with teen depression. Usually, the child undergoes psychotherapy which can be very effective. The doctor may put the teenager on medication to better regulate the symptoms. Considering the variation of drugs available and their different side effects, parents and teenager should work closely with the doctor in finding the most suitable medication.
Additional helpful resources:
- Teen Depression – MayoClinic.com
- Mental Health America: Depression in Teens
- Teen Depression: Causes, Symptoms, Heredity, and Treatments