One of the biggest problems with depression is that when a person is depressed, he loses hope and asking for help seems impossible. Many people never seek the treatment for depression that they so sorely need. Without treatment, depression can get worse, even to the point of being life-threatening. In fact, adult/teen suicide is the third-leading cause of death among people ages 15 to 24, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology.
Teenage years are a time of intense change and uncertainty, and feelings of confusion and disappointment are absolutely normal. Teen depression, however, can prohibit adolescents from enjoying and benefiting from this period of life.
Therapy for Depression
With proper teenage depression support and treatment, depressed teens can live a normal and happy life. Regular therapy for depression is imperative in the healing process. Clinical depression often calls for the help of a mental health professional who has experience with teenage depression. A combination of individual and group therapy is usually the most effective treatment for depression.
Medical Treatment for Depression
In addition to individual and group therapy for depression, mental health professionals may also recommend the use of antidepressants to help treat teen depression. When depression is so bad that it interferes with daily life, medication (in addition to therapy) might be necessary treatment for depression.
The effects of an antidepressant often don’t kick in until several weeks have passed, so teens taking medication shouldn’t get frustrated if they don’t feel better right away. One medication may work better than another at treating teenage depression, so you’ll want to discuss each option with your teen’s doctor.
Antidepressants and Teen Suicide
Antidepressants may increase the risk of teenage suicide thoughts or actions. Because of this increased risk of teenage suicide, teens that begin taking antidepressants should be closely monitored for the first few months. Like any drug, this type of treatment for depression has both benefits and side effects, which you and your teen should discuss with her doctor.
The best therapy for depression is communication. Teen depression often causes adolescents to feel that something is terribly wrong with their life. Depending on each individual patient, the following figures may provide information on teenage depression:
- Family doctor
- School counselor
- Youth pastor.
Parents and Teenage Depression
When adolescents are experiencing teen depression, parents should be aware of the importance of communication. Teenage depression often causes a lack of connection with friends and family, causing them to:
- Avoid family gatherings and events
- Lose interest in activities they previously enjoyed
- Spend most of their time alone.
Teens may not share their feelings with others, believing that they are alone in the world, and that no one is listening to them or even cares. The best therapy for depression involves a caring parent working with his child through these issues. If you have questions about teenage depression, you may want to speak with your child’s school counselor or doctor.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Staff. (2008). Teen suicide. Retrieved April 29, 2010, from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry website: www.aacap.org/publications/factsfam/suicide.htm.
Focus Adolescent Services Staff. (n.d). Teen depression: Warning signs, information, getting help. Retrieved June 7, 2002, from the Focus Adolescent Services website: www.focusas.com/Depression.html.
National Institute of Mental Health Staff. (2009). For teens: Let’s talk about depression. Retrieved May 12, 2010, from the Healthy Place website: http://www.healthyplace.com/depression/nimh/for-teens-lets-talk-about-depression/menu-id-1404/.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration Staff. (2005). Medication guide about using antidepressants in children and teenagers. Retrieved May 12, 2010, from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/UCM161646.pdf.