You may be aware that depression is possible at almost any stage of life. While there are common symptoms it can manifest differently in teenagers than adults.
Keep reading for details about what depression looks like for teenagers, the warning signs and risk factors you should look out for, and how you can access help through online therapy.
Depression, or Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), is a disorder that affects most, if not all, aspects of an individual’s life. It is considered to be dangerous if these feelings last for weeks at a time, change your routines, and influence the things you do daily. Recent studies done by Mental Health America report 15.08% of youth in America experienced a major depressive episode during the past year. When MDD symptoms are numerous and have lasted for more than two weeks, this is considered significant depressive order. This is a severe disorder that is unlikely to diminish without seeking treatment.
Clinical depression can appear differently in teens and adults. Teens are already dealing with so many changes and issues and adolescence can be a turbulent time with extreme sensitivity. They are forming their identity as young adults and grappling with changes in their body, while experiencing a number of academic and social pressures. This can be a lot to deal with. Youth depression is a condition that needs to be treated to prevent triggers that can make untreated depression worse.
Keep in mind that a lot of these symptoms overlap with other mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder or a personality disorder. While the major depression symptoms listed above can be alarming for any parent, other symptoms are a significant cause for concern. For example, teens may start to self-harm, worry about death, and may even have suicidal thoughts or engage in suicide attempts. If your teenager has started to exhibit behaviors like these, or others listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), you need to get them immediate support. Help and resources are available at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK. If you are a teenager that has these symptoms, you can also benefit from therapy and support when you need it. This is the best time to investigate your non-medical and medical treatment options.
Much like with other mental health issues, severe depression in teens is often treated through the use of psychotherapy and medication. With psychotherapy and adolescent psychiatry, they will be able to process the issues they are facing that contribute to their mental wellbeing. This is vital since many teens may feel misunderstood and struggle with the challenges of adolescence. Seek the help of a mental health professional to assist your teen while they are working through these issues and start to learn how to positively address some of the things that are weighing them down.
Teens often fare better during the treatment when they are considered during the process, as well. A study conducted showed that teenagers are more likely to see improvements in their mental health when they are asked how they feel about treatments and allowed to make decisions concerning them. They will also be more likely to follow the recommendations that a mental health professional prescribes.
Teens and their parents should be comfortable with the treatment plan that is laid out for them. If anyone has an issue with part of the process, they should feel free to speak up.
Teens who have MDD can feel out of control sometimes, so it is essential to develop a structure. This may help manage symptoms better or allow treatment to become more effective.
Break down big projects into smaller ones that are easier to manage.
If you can't meet goals this isn’t the end of the world. Things happen and don’t always turn out the way you wanted them to. When they don’t, this doesn’t reflect poorly on you. You don’t need to be hard on yourself if you got a bad grade on a homework assignment, or you didn’t make the team. You can keep trying.
Teenagers need 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night. With the right amount of sleep, you’ll be in a better position to make decisions and process all the things that happen to you throughout your day.
Even if you don’t always feel like you want to, movement is proven to help improve your mood. You can walk your dog down the block or dance to a couple of your favorite songs.
Be sure that you keep your support system (people that you can talk to about your problems) close, so they will be there when you need to lean on them. For a teen, this could include parents, school psychologist, etc. Everyone needs a support system to rely on at times, even if they aren’t experiencing depression.
When you take advantage of the treatment options available, depression symptoms can lessen over time and feel more manageable. While many people experience depressive symptoms at one point during their life, it becomes an issue when it remains chronic, intense, and becomes interference in your teen’s quality of life.
The best course of action is to consult a mental health care professional, so they can determine the best course of action to help you and your teen.
Therapy is something that can make a big difference for someone’s life. Teenagers with MDD can benefit from therapy just as much as adult patients. If you’d like to help them overcome MDD, then signing up for therapy is a great first step.
There are options to consider when signing up for therapy. Some people like to go the traditional route of signing up for therapy at an in-person clinic. Others might like the idea of looking into online therapy due to the overall convenience. Online therapy is very much the same as traditional therapy, except that it allows you to get help from the comfort of home.
You might find the idea of signing up for online therapy at BetterHelp to be very appealing. This platform has been able to help many people with MDD to learn how to move forward in life. Depression is a serious problem, but it can be dealt with when you have the right assistance. Your teen will learn to develop skills and coping mechanisms while working through the issues that are causing their depression.
Commonly asked questions found below:
What Is The Main Cause Of Depression Among The Youth?
Truthfully, there are many potential causes of depression among adolescents. Issues such as low self-esteem, peer pressure, academic pressure, and bullying can all contribute to mental health issues.
These mental health issues can also be caused by trouble at home. Just about any type of stress has the potential to cause mental health issues such as MDD. If your teen’s behavior seems off, then it’s possible that they might be depressed.
You can’t determine what is causing the depression until you look at the situation closer to see what is happening. Family conflict can sometimes cause poor mental health, and even a family history of MDD can play a role. Something as simple as fighting with a friend or family member could be a sign of MDD in a teenager. Mental disorders like this are tough to cope with alone, and need assistance.
What Are Signs Of Anxiety In A Teenager?
The signs of anxiety can be subtle, or they can be very pronounced. Each person experiences anxiety a little bit differently, and you can’t say for sure how difficult something is for your child. Mental health issues such as anxiety can be very problematic for adolescents, and your child will need support to get through this. Thankfully, anxiety is a treatable condition and can be managed with medications and therapy, just like depression.
Seeking out health treatment is very important when you’re going through anxiety issues. Anxiety can make it tough to get through life. Having the support of family members is great when you’re experiencing anxiety, but adolescents do need professional help as well. Seek out health treatment services so that your teen can mitigate anxiety symptoms.
Does My Teenager Have A Mental Illness?
If your teenager is exhibiting some of these symptoms, then they might have a mental illness. However, it’s important to note that it isn’t up to you to make that determination. You cannot self-diagnose a mental illness, and your child needs to be evaluated by a mental health professional. If you suspect that your child is struggling with mental health issues such as MDD or anxiety, then making an appointment with their doctor is for the best.
Your family doctor can handle diagnosis, treatment, and determining how else to move forward. Don’t assume that your children have mental illnesses without checking with a doctor. Children of all ages need to be diagnosed properly so that they can receive the right treatment. Your doctor will be happy to provide the health services that you need, and you can go forward from there.
Is It Normal To Have Mood Swings As A Teenager?
Yes, mood swings can occur as a normal part of adolescent life. Teenagers are going through changes, and they can experience hormonal issues that will make them irritable sometimes. It isn’t unusual to see someone who is going through puberty to change a bit in terms of attitude. This can also present itself as mood swings, but you should note that mood swings can also be indicative of mental health issues.
Essentially, you can’t point to just mood swings when you’re suspecting that your child is depressed or experiencing anxiety. There are many reasons why adolescents exhibit mood swings. You have to look at the other symptoms of depression or anxiety while also considering the context of what is going on in your teen’s life. You can help your teen whether they are dealing with normal mood swings or if they’re struggling with mental health issues. Just contact the right health treatment services to get things going.
Which Age Group Is The Most Depressed?
This doesn’t mean that other age groups are unlikely to experience this disorder, though. Teens can go through mental health struggles just as easily as adults can, and they need health treatment services that they can rely on.
What Happens In The Brain During Depression?
MDD also has the potential to enlarge the amygdala. This is the part of the brain that handles emotional responses such as fear and pleasure. Having an enlarged amygdala can cause sleep problems, and it can also interrupt activity patterns. Sometimes the body might release more hormones than usual, too, which can complicate things even more.
You can see that MDD has a big impact on the brain, and this is why it’s so important to seek out health treatment services. You need to be able to get the help that you need so that you can move forward. MDD is treatable, and you can turn to health treatment services to figure things out. When MDD is being treated properly, it makes it much easier to avoid the complications mentioned above. Seek out the treatment services that your teen needs today.
What Age Does Mental Illness Start?
There isn’t necessarily an age where mental illness will start. There are some cases where children will experience mental health issues. You might find that some people will start to struggle with mental health problems when they reach their teenage years, while others won’t have issues until they’re well into adulthood. It’s a case-by-case type of thing, and you can pinpoint a specific age when mental illness is going to start.
Don’t assume that your children and teens are too young to go through mental health issues. Health treatment is available for children and teens who are struggling. You can turn to a doctor for diagnosis, treatment, and support even when your children are still young. Having the right treatment services available can make a difference. You should also be committed to being there for your kids. The support of family members can mean the world when you’re experiencing mental health complications so young.
What Race Suffers From Depression The Most?
Data has shown that all races are susceptible to depression. However, it should be noted that there are some variances in the numbers. Mental disorders can be experienced by any race, but environmental and societal factors could be playing a role in producing these numbers. Either way, people need to seek health treatment when they suspect that they might be depressed.
What Gender Is More Likely To Experience Depression?
If you suspect that you’re experiencing mental health issues such as MDD, then you should seek health treatment. Sometimes men make the mistake of not seeking treatment because they fear that it will make them look weak. Men’s health is important, and this includes mental health. Don’t let your gender keep you from getting health treatment when you’re going through mental health struggles. Seeking the right health treatment now could mean the difference between coping successfully and struggling in life.