Over the years, teen depression has rampantly increased all over the world.
The consequences have been oppressive and in many cases, deadly.
If not treated as soon as it is diagnosed, teen depression gets worse and they can even pass it on to their parents, siblings or people around them.
Due to its increase, depression has raised an alarm and left many parents wondering:
- What causes depression among teenagers?
- How to prevent it
- The symptoms and how to diagnose depression
- How to treat teen depression
What is Teen depression?
Teen depression aka Adolescent depression, is a severe mental health complication that brings about emotional disorder in a teenager.
It causes constant sadness and lack of interest affecting teens thinking and the way they react to issues.
Types of teen depression
- Major depression; also known as clinical depression, this is a serious genetically predisposition. The patient is required to stay on medication for a period of time while others live on medication. It is not caused by life event as it is natural.
- Dysthymic disorder; well known as the persistent depressive disorder, produces feelings of pessimism and low self-esteem. This can last for a long period of time. Other than medication, it responds best to therapy.
- Bipolar depression; this is comparable to major depression. It causes excess mood swings which are known as “mood episodes”
- Medical conditions depressions; hormonal medical conditions or illness affecting the brain can result in depression.
- Adjustment depressive disorder; an occurrence of maybe loss of a loved one or loneliness can cause depression.
Difference between Teen and Adult Depression
One may be wondering, is there a difference between teen and adult depression?
They both have similar symptoms but they differ when it comes to how both deal with the depression.
Depressed adults are able to ignore the problem surrounding them and focus on their own issues, which makes it hard for people to realize they are depressed while on the other hand, depressed teenagers react towards the environment around them as they become hypersensitive.
Causes of Teen Depression
It is hard to point out what causes teen depression. A variety of factors could be involved.
- Genetic traits- depression can flow genetically; it can be inherited from parents to their children.
- Early childhood traumatic experience – As children develop, they do not have a strong coping mechanism, hence a dreadful experience can leave them depressed. The traumatic events could be emotional, loss of a loved one or physical or even sexual abuse.
- Hormonal changes – this is the brain differences due to the neurotransmitters levels. This chemical affects how the brain cells pass information and regulate the behavior change and moods.
- Constant negative thoughts- repeated pessimistic thinking surrounding a teen can render them helpless and insufficient.
Symptoms Of Teen Depression
It is important for every parent to know the signs of teen depression.
The major symptom in teenagers is the abrupt change of behavior and attitude which reflects in their performance be it in school or at home.
The symptoms can differ in severity, but some of the common emotional changes and behavior that parents can use as a guide to identify depression in teens include:
- Withdrawal from school activities and from friends
- Loss of interest
- Poor performance in class and socially
- Poor concertation
- Weight changes and loss of appetite
- Feeling empty and hopeless
- Crying spells and moody
- Overreaction and extremely sensitive to any form of correction
- Low self-esteem
- Frequent thoughts of suicide and death
- Sleeping for long hours
- Energy loss and tiredness
Differentiating Between Puberty Changes And Teen Depression
According to studies carried out by the American Family physicians, 15 percent of teenagers have some depression symptoms some of which are difficult to identify as they may be confused with the normal puberty changes in the teens.
Time is a major difference when it is puberty changes these behavior declines after a while, but when it’s depression the symptoms increase they worsen with time.
Parents have always wondered, how can I prevent my teens from depression? To minimize depression risk, a parent needs to show a lot of love, understanding, patience and moral support to their teens.
Some of the most recommended prevention ways are:
- Encouraging them to do what they love; Get to learn your teen’s passions and encourage them to keep doing it as this will keep them motivated and happy.
- Ensure enough sleep; Teens need eight hours sleep to function well during class and daily activities.
According to National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health who conducted a case study involving 15,000 adolescents, lack of enough sleep can cause teen experience depression.
- Enough exercise; exercise boost emotions and it can last more than 12 hours.
- Focus on the positive happenings; learn to put bring out the good things in teens.
- Stress management; even before it occurs, teach them how to deal and cope with stress and ensure it does not affect their better side.
- Boost self-esteem; help teens understand their character traits by encouraging their interest and giving positive feedback for all the things done right.
- Proper communication; always let them know you understand what they are going through and give them that attention and an open ear.
- Self-control; teens love freedom and want to control their lives. It is important to let them have control over their lives to a certain level.
Teen’s Mental Health
As a teen parent who deeply cares about your teen development, you are supposed to take charge in your child’s mental health.
This is easy if there is a close relationship between you and your teens.
To do this, evaluate every change in your teen behavior and ensure that every development is monitored carefully.
As you observe these unusual mood shifts, you may discover some bipolar disorders as these mood episodes are exhibited in teens. These sighs may require professional attention rather than parent help.
According to Gretchen Gudmundsen a Ph.D. psychologist, a child mental health is more than important than anything else around them. A good mental determine the wellness of your teen and helps reduce on depression.
High Increase In Teen Depression
In the modern world with increased social activities through media, teenagers have found themselves confused as they what to feel their personal impact felt.
Unlike in the past where the teenagers were highly influenced by their parents, peers, and environment around them, the teens can easily be influenced by the occurrences around the globe.
This has contributed to a drastic increase in teen depression.
Crisis Of Untreated Teen Depression
Depressed teens are likely to develop many risky problems as they struggle to deal with their emotional pain in them.
Some of these problems are:
- Committing suicide; due to the emotional pain, some may attempt suicide.
- Violence; some direct rage and anger towards people or things around them. This may cause damage.
- Drug abuse; in efforts to solve maybe their sleeplessness, some may end up abusing drugs
- Recurring episodes; continued depression may occur
- Self-injury; some may result in harming themselves to try to control their inner pain
Ways To Helped A Depressed Teen
If you happen to be a teen with depression or a parent with such teens, it is important to note that you are not alone.
- Start by accepting it and get help as soon as possible
- Talk to a specialist.
- Get the evaluation
- Seek professional treatment and therapy.