Teen depression more commonly referred to as teenage depression, this mental and emotional disorder is no different medically from adult depression. However, symptoms in teens may manifest themselves in different ways than in adults due to the different social and developmental challenges facing teens. These include:
There are thought to be many causes of depression. There are most likely many factors behind who develops depression and who doesn’t, and these factors are no different for teens.
Traumatic Life Events
Such as the loss of a loved one or pet, divorce, or remarriage. Any event that causes distress or trauma, or even just a major change in lifestyle, can trigger depression in a vulnerable individual.
Social Situation/Family Circumstances
Unfortunately, there are teens who live in difficult circumstances. Domestic violence, substance abuse, poverty or other family issues can cause stress and contribute to depression in a teen.
It has been found that depression runs in families and that there is a genetic basis for depression. Keep in mind, though, that teens who have depression in their family will not necessarily get the illness, and teens without a history of depression in their family can still get the disorder.
Occasionally, symptoms of depression can be a sign of another medical illness, such as hypothyroidism, or other disorders.
Some legal, prescription medications can have depression as a side effect. Certain illegal drugs (street drugs) can also cause depression.
Educating teens and families about treatment options that are available
- Developing a treatment plan that includes specific treatment goals that address functioning at home and school
Collaborating with other mental health resources in the community.
- Drinking, especially for teens, can create more problems. People with depression should avoid alcohol.
- Creating a safety plan with steps that should be taken if the teen’s symptoms become worse or if they experience suicidal thinking
- Considering active support and monitoring before beginning other treatments
- Consulting a mental health specialist if symptoms are moderate or severe
- Incorporating evidence-based treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and antidepressants
- Continuing to monitor symptoms and functioning during antidepressant treatment; doctors and family member should watch for signs that symptoms are worsening and for suicidal thinking or behaviors
- Research shows that regular exercise stimulates the production of “feel good” chemicals in the brain that elevate mood. Enroll your child in a sport they’re interested in, or come up with games to encourage physical activity.
- Sleep is important to your teen’s mood. Make sure they get enough sleep each night and follow a regular bedtime routine.