Depression doesn’t see age; it can occur to anyone breathing life. It is a severe mental condition that may affect anyone. Teen or Adolescent depression is one such severe mental health issue. It causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities among adolescents. It affects a teenager’s overall activities, be it the way they think, feels, or behave. Depression leads to emotional, functional, and physical problems in adolescents. Although it is said, depression can occur to any person at any time in life also, the symptoms in adults and teenagers vary.
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Causes of Depression amongst the Adolescents:
The leading causes of depression amongst youth or adolescents may vary and maybe cause different issues in life. While one is a teenager, there is always a lot of peer pressure and the constant feeling of no one understanding them. This leads to several complications in the relationship and makes the youth want to stay alone. Through peer pressure, one seems to get addicted to substances, alcohol, or certain lifestyles which the adolescent is not fond of; this may lead to depression as well. Any mental, physical, or sexual abuse, etc., leads to depression.
Issues like academic pressure, changing body types, love failures, etc., can also be the reason for depression.
People think teen or adolescent depression can be treated quickly, and with time it will go. But what adults don’t know is that the issues that cropped up during adolescent age can go deep down and create a forever impact. It requires genuine medication and psychological counseling. If a teenager is going through a rough phase, be it having some emotional trauma or abuse, it becomes difficult for the person to disclose it to someone. They live in constant fear, which leads to depression, affecting their body, mind, and soul. Even if parents are quarreling or fighting at home, it has a severe impact on teenagers’ minds as they grow up.
What are the signs and symptoms to look for in Adolescents for depression?
- Emotional changes like anger, irritation, staying alone, hopelessness, etc.
- Low self-esteem, doesn’t care about anything or anyone, self-blame, extremely sensitive towards everything.
- Attempts to suicide or self-harm.
- Behavioral changes like lack of concentration, loss of sleep, food, tiredness, lethargy, having bodily issues like pain, aches, etc.
These are the signs and symptoms, after which the adults should look for a doctor. This may look like teenage behavior, but it might significantly have severe impacts when the child harms or attempts suicide. Consulting a family doctor or pediatrician is a good start. After which check the severity, the doctor might refer to further consultation. Suppose one sees a teenager suicidal; one calls 911, the suicide helpline.
What are the treatments of Adolescent Depression?
Get the early treatment possible when one sights the earliest sign of any problem in the teenager. It will help in preventing depression from worsening.
Maintain the ongoing treatment as suggested by the family doctor or therapist. The continuation of the therapy might stop the relapse of depression symptoms.
The primary treatment considered is PHP vs. IOP. When a teenager is struggling with a substance abuse problem or any depression, it is advisable to seek this program. There is the intensive outpatient program (IOP) and partial hospitalization program (PHP), which help treat depression. The primary difference between PHP vs. IOP is, PHPs are a more intensive form of treatment in which a patient can get treatment being in a hospital. Whereas IOPs are a follow-up to a PHP with the same facilities as the PHP, it allows the patient to go back home every night after the treatment. IOPs allow online therapy classes, along with various virtual programs. At the same time, a PHP lasts for even 30 days or 90 days with intense programs which don’t let the patients go home for that period. It provides quick recovery, though.
While the treatment goes on, or the treatment gets over, what one can do is, especially the parents, siblings, or friends, give the teenager the utmost love, care, and support. The teenager who went through a depressed phase needs a healthy lifestyle, the best surroundings, loads of love and care, and a different outlook towards life. Let them be themselves, even being with the family, let them get into a sport or extracurricular activities, take them out on some vacation and most importantly, keep them out of the factors that lead to depression.