TherapyMantra

Depression In Teens: Signs, Risks, Causes, Diagnosis And Treatment

What Is Depression?

Depression is a serious mental illness that can affect anyone, including teenagers. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 11 percent of adolescents in the United States suffer from depression. If you are a parent of a teenager, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of depression so that you can get your child the help they need. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes and symptoms of depression in teens, as well as how to get help for your child.

Contents

What Is Depression?

What Is Depression?Depression is a mood disorder that causes feelings of sadness and hopelessness that can last for weeks or months. This disorder is something that one in five teens experiences. Sometimes people also experience changes in their appetite, sleep habits, and energy levels.

There are different types of depression such as major depressive disorder (MDD), persistent depressive disorder (PDD), bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). MDD is the most common type where people experience a depressed mood along with symptoms like loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed, significant weight gain or loss, problems concentrating, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, and thoughts of death or suicide.

This depression could affect people to many different extents. For some, their mood may only dip a little bit while for others it might be extreme and interfere with their daily life.

Depression In Teens

Depression In TeensDepression in teens can look different than adult depression. For example, teens might become irritable and aggressive instead of feeling sad or hopeless. They may also engage in risky behaviors like using drugs or alcohol, cutting themselves, or having unprotected sex.

Teens who are depressed may feel like they’re the only one that feels this way and often don’t want to talk about their feelings because they think it makes them seem weak. It’s important for parents and other adults to be open to talking with teens about their mental health and not to judge them if they do open up.

Signs of Depression In Teens

Signs of Depression In Teens

There are many signs that a teen may be depressed. Some of these are:

Change In Eating Habits

There may be a change in eating habits, where the teen either doesn’t eat enough or eats too much. This also includes changes in the types of foods that the teen likes to eat.

Change In Sleeping Habits

The teen may not want to sleep or may sleep too much. This can also be seen in how long it takes for the teen to fall asleep and how many times they wake up during the night.

Loss Of Interest In Activities Or Hobbies

The teen may lose interest in activities or hobbies that they once enjoyed. They might also stop caring about their appearance and seem like they don’t care about anything anymore.

Feeling Hopeless, Worthless, And Guilty

The teen may feel like there is no point in living anymore and that everything they do is wrong. They may think that they are a burden to others.

Thoughts Of Suicide Or Self-Harm

The teen may have thoughts about harming themselves or even suicide. This could be expressed through words, drawings, or even in how they act. This also includes teens who have already attempted suicide in the past.

Causes of Depression In Teens

Causes of Depression In Teens

There are many different reasons why a teen might become depressed. Some reasons are:

Bullying

The teen may be bullied at school or online which can lead to them feeling isolated and alone. Sometimes the teen may not want to tell anyone about the bullying because they’re embarrassed or ashamed.

Family Problems

The teen’s family might be going through a tough time, like a divorce or death in the family. This can leave the teen feeling scared and alone. These are just a few examples and there are many other reasons why teens might become depressed.

Traumatic Experiences

The teen may have gone through a traumatic experience, like being sexually assaulted or witnessing a violent crime. This could leave them feeling scared, angry, and confused. Sometimes these events happen and the teen doesn’t even realize that they’re traumatic.

Drug Abuse

Drug abuse can be a way for teens to try and cope with their depression. They may think that abusing drugs will make them feel better, but it actually just makes things worse. There are many other reasons why a teen might become depressed and these are just some of them.

Genes

Genes can also play a role in depression. If the teen’s parents or other close relatives have depression, then they are more likely to develop it too. These also just a few examples and there are many other reasons why teens might become depressed.

Loss of Close-Ones

Sometimes the teen may become depressed after losing a close one, like a parent or grandparent. This can be really hard for the teen to cope with and they might not know how to deal with their grief.

Conflict

Conflict can be a reason as well. The teen may be in a situation where they’re constantly arguing with their parents or friends and it’s making them feel really stressed out. Sometimes the teen doesn’t even know why they’re fighting with people, but the conflict is still causing them to feel depressed.

Medications

There can be a link between depression and some medications. If the teen is taking medication for another condition and it’s causing them to feel depressed, then they should talk to their doctor about it.

Risk Factors For Depression In Teens

Risk Factors For Depression In Teens

There are many different risk factors for depression in teens. Some of these include:

Mental Health Illness

There can be a link between mental health illnesses and depression. If the teen has a mental health illness, like anxiety or bipolar disorder, then they are more likely to develop depression too.

Gender

Genes can also play a role in depression. If the teen’s parents or other close relatives have depression, then they are more likely to develop it too. These also just a few examples and there are many other reasons why teens might become depressed.

Negative Life Events

The teen may be going through a tough time, like being bullied at school or online which can lead to them feeling isolated and alone. Sometimes the teen may not want to tell anyone about the bullying because they’re embarrassed or ashamed.

Age

Age can also be a risk factor for depression. Teens who are going through puberty are more likely to develop depression than those who aren’t.

Negative Impacts of Depression In Teens

Negative Impacts of Depression In Teens

There are many negative impacts of depression in teens. Some of these include:

Academic Problems

The teen may start doing poorly in school and not caring about their grades. They might also have a hard time focusing in class or completing their homework.

Social Difficulties

The teen may start to distance themselves from their friends and family members. They might also feel shy and uncomfortable around people, which can lead to them having social anxiety.

Physical Health Problems

The teen’s physical health might also start to decline. This could be because they’re not taking care of themselves properly or because the depression is causing them lots of stress. Some examples of physical health problems are headaches, stomachaches, and fatigue.

Eating Disorders And Substance Abuse

The teen might start to develop an eating disorder or abuse drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with their depression. This can be very dangerous and lead to some serious health problems.

Suicidal Thoughts And Behaviors

As mentioned earlier, one of the biggest dangers of depression is that the teen may have suicidal thoughts or behaviors. If you notice that your teen is talking about suicide or has any other warning signs, then it’s important to get them to help right away.

Diagnosis of Depression In Teens

Diagnosis of Depression In Teens

There can be many methods to diagnose depression in teens. Some of these include:

Physical Exam

The doctor might do a physical exam to check for any physical health problems that could be causing the teen’s depression. This can also be a good time for the doctor to ask about the teen’s family medical history.

Mental Health Assessment

The doctor might also do a mental health assessment to see if the teen is experiencing any symptoms of depression. This will involve asking questions about how the teen has been feeling lately and if they’ve had any thoughts or plans of harming themselves.

Lab Tests

There may be some lab tests ordered as well, like a blood test or urine test, to check for any medication side effects that could be causing the depression. There are many different ways to diagnose depression in teens, so the doctor will likely use a few different methods.

Self-Tests

Self-tests are also becoming more popular nowadays. There are many different self-tests that can be found online, and they’re a good way to see if the teen might be experiencing some symptoms of depression. There are many tests online through which one can ascertain their conditions as well as the severity of the condition.

Treatment of Depression In Teen

Treatment of Depression In Teen

The treatment of depression will vary depending on the teen’s individual situation. However, some of the most common treatments are:

Therapy

One of the most common treatments for depression is therapy. The therapist will work with the teen to identify what might be causing their depression and help them find ways to cope with it. There are many types of therapy, so the teen can find one that they feel comfortable with. There are many types of therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and interpersonal psychotherapy.

Medication

If the doctor determines that medication is necessary, then they will prescribe a medication that’s specifically tailored for teens. It’s important to note that not all medications are safe for teens and some may have side effects. Some medications are also addictive, so it’s important to only take them as prescribed by the doctor.

Some medications like antidepressants and antianxiety medications are commonly prescribed for depression.

But one should always keep in mind what is causing the depression and then accordingly opt for a treatment.

Self-Help Strategies

There are also many self-help strategies that teens can use to manage their depression. Some of these include:

Exercising regularly

Through this, the teen will release endorphins, which are hormones that can improve mood.

Eating a healthy diet

The teen’s diet can also play a role in their mood. Eating nutritious foods will help the teen feel better both physically and mentally.

Spending time with friends and family members

This can help boost the teen’s mood and make them feel more connected to others. You can also find more self-help strategies for depression in teens [here](

Participating in activities they enjoy

Doing things that make teens happy can help improve their moods.

Support Groups

There are also support groups available that can help teens deal with their depression. These groups usually meet once a week and allow participants to share their experiences and get support from others who are going through something similar.

Counseling

Counseling is another option for teens who are struggling with depression. This type of therapy can provide the teen with more support and guidance than they would get from a therapist. This is a good option for teens who don’t feel comfortable talking about their depression with someone else.

How To Prevent Depression In Teens?

How To Prevent Depression In Teens?

Preventing depression in teens is very important, as it can lead to many different problems down the road. Some of the most effective ways to prevent depression are:

Talk About It

You can always talk about what you’re feeling with a friend, family member, or therapist. This can help you understand your feelings better and may prevent the development of depression. There are many people around you to whom you can communicate well and share your feelings as well.

Get Enough Sleep

If the teen is consistently not getting enough sleep, this can increase their risk for developing depression. This can also be caused by stress, so it’s important to find ways to reduce stress in the teen’s life.

Stay Connected

It’s important for teens to feel connected to others and have a support system. This can help them when they’re feeling down and may prevent them from developing depression.

Be Involved In Activities

Participating in activities that the teen enjoys can help improve their mood and prevent depression from developing. There can be some activities that you may enjoy a lot that your teen may enjoy.

Be Happy

You should always strive to be happy and enjoy life. This may not always be easy, but it’s important to remember that you have control over your happiness. One can always feel very down and depressed.

Eat Good Food

You can always eat good, nutritious food to make you feel better. Eating healthy foods will help your body and mind function at their best. Eating good food will also make you happier.

Be Physically Active

Physical activity releases endorphins, which can improve mood. Exercising regularly is a great way to stay physically active and it may help prevent depression from developing.

Practice Yoga

You can also try practicing yoga, which is a type of exercise that combines physical activity with breathing exercises and meditation. Yoga can help improve mood and may prevent depression from developing.

Do Meditation Regularly

Meditation is a great way to relax and improve mood. Teens can practice meditation regularly to help prevent depression from developing. These practices also help improve focus and concentration.

Practice Healthy Living

One should always try to live a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating healthy, being physically active, and getting enough sleep. All of these are important for maintaining mental health and preventing depression from developing.

Parenting Tips For Depression In Teens

Parenting Tips For Depression In Teens

There can be many ways how to prevent depression in teens. Some of these are:

Creating Positive Home Environment

This means providing a supportive and nurturing home environment for the teen. This can include being there for them when they need it, listening to them, and not judging them. You can also find more tips on creating a positive home environment here

Encouraging Them to Talk About Their Feelings

Teens can be reluctant to talk about their feelings, but it’s important for them to do so. Encouraging them to talk openly with you and others can help them deal with their depression in a healthy way.

Helping Them Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle can help prevent depression in teens. This includes eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. This can also include avoiding drugs and alcohol.

Monitoring Their Mental Health

It’s important to monitor the teen’s mental health, especially if there is a history of depression in the family. This can help catch any signs of depression early on and get treatment started as soon as possible.

Keeping Open Dialogue

It’s also important to keep an open dialogue with the teen about their mental health. This allows them to feel comfortable talking to you about anything that might be going on in their life.

Making Sure You Are There For Them

Letting the teen know that you are there for them and will support them through anything can be very helpful. Yiu can also find more tips for parenting a teen with depression here.

Taking Care of Yourself

It’s important to remember that you can’t take care of someone else if you don’t take care of yourself. Taking some time for yourself can help recharge your batteries and allow you to better support the teen.

Conclusion

Nowadays there are many ways to prevent depression in teens from developing. Some of these are: creating a positive home environment, encouraging them to talk about their feelings, helping them maintain a healthy lifestyle, monitoring their mental health, and keeping an open dialogue with the teen. It’s important for parents to be there for the teen and take care of themselves as well.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression, please seek help from a healthcare professional. You can also find more information on how to get help here.

Thanks for reading! I hope this article was informative and helpful. Please feel free to share it with others who may find it useful. 🙂

A Word From Therapy Mantra

Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.

At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.