Teen Depression is a type of mood disorder in which teens suffer from intense, prolonged sadness, which causes negative effects in their lives. While everyone experiences sad feelings from time to time, teens with depression experience an ongoing sense of sadness due to a disrupted balance of brain chemicals. Over time, this sadness can also result in teens losing self-esteem and having an overall sense of apathy toward life. In general, it’s common for teens with depression to struggle with constantly fighting off sad thoughts and feelings, and even for once-joyful experiences to be dampened, due to the teens’ condition. Depending on the severity of the depression, it can sometimes lead teens to isolating, harmful, and even suicidal thoughts and behaviors. When evaluating or dealing with depression it’s important to understand that it is a mental illness with significant chemical factors at play, and not simply a matter of a person’s whim or mood.
There are a number of different forms of depression, including: Major Depression, Atypical Depression, Post-Partum depression, Minor Depression, Adjustment Disorder, Dysthymia, and Melancholic Depression.
It’s often very difficult to determine the cause of depression, because it can vary so much, according to the individual. While sometimes it can be triggered by a traumatic event, there are also heredity factors, hormonal factors, and stress factors which can contribute to the development of the illness.
While the most defining, overwhelming symptom of depression is extreme and prolonged feelings of sadness, there are many other effects, which this sadness can bring about. Especially in cases where depression goes ignored and/or untreated, over time it can progress to significantly affect nearly all areas of teens’ lives. Some of the specific symptoms related to depression include:
- Consistent low mood
- Erratic irritability
- Stomach aches
- Low sense of self-esteem
- Feelings of rejection and failure
- Illogical fear of others’ disapproval
- Feelings of failure and apathy toward life
- Change in appetite and/or weight
- Tendency to withdraw from people/isolate
- Tendency to disengage
In general, depression is usually treated with psychotherapy, residential treatment, medication, or any combination thereof. Depending on the severity of the depression, it may be necessary to first ensure the teen’s physical safety as well as the safety of others. Beyond this, teen depression treatment often involves addressing the thought patterns and false beliefs present. Because teens who are depressed often experience negative thought patterns that keep them in a cycle of sad, hopeless thinking, therapists often work to help the teens notice and identify what “triggers” tend to begin these patterns and cycles. By learning triggers and stressors that lead to these thoughts, teens can begin to learn when and how the sad thoughts develop, and then begin to change those patterns. Beyond this kind of cognitive behavioral therapy work, which is usually done in individual talk therapy sessions, teens may also benefit from some form of medication, to help provide relief from the severity of sadness, and assist teens in being able to think and operate more clearly. Often, even if only used temporarily, medication can help teens improve to a degree where they can more successfully engage in the other areas of treatment. In other instances, medication is very helpful to help rebalance the teen’s brain chemistry. Lastly, in instances where teens have made different attempts to treat depression and/or have suffered from the illness for a prolongedamount of time, residential treatment can be a good option for teens who need a chance to focus solely and intently upon their recovery and well being.
Paradigm New York:
Located in just outside of New York City, Paradigm New York is one of the leading teen treatment centers in the world. Providing treatment to teens from New York and abroad, Paradigm New York provides teen depression treatment for all forms of depression. Paradigm New York prides itself in defining treatment plans that are individually designed according to the teen, and draw upon a wide array of the best therapeutic approaches and resources.