Teen Depression Treatment
Depression disorders in teenagers are commonly mistaken for sadness or moodiness. When teenagers are also abusing drugs and alcohol, it can be extremely difficult to determine what is causing their behavior. However, depression and substance abuse are not things one can easily snap out of.
Depression is a serious mental health disorder that lasts at least two weeks or more with feelings of persistent sadness, irritability, hostility or a hanging “dark cloud”. It is more serious than a bout of moodiness or sadness.
Depression stems from dysregulation in the brain that controls emotions and moods. Sometimes genetics can make a person more vulnerable to depression; however, stressful situations can trigger depression in teenagers such as social settings in school, bullying, maintaining classwork, abuse, divorce, trauma and/or substance abuse in the family.
Adolescent Depression Statistics
- According to SAMSHA, in 2014, an estimated 2.8 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in the past year; that’s 11.4 percent of the adolescent population.
- The prevalence of depression is more than three times higher in girls than in boys; 16.2 percent in females, 5.3 percent in males.
- According to the CDC, nearly 20 percent of teens seriously consider suicide each year, and 1 in 12 teens attempt suicide.
Signs and Symptoms of Teenage Depression
It’s common during adolescence to feel a rollercoaster of emotions, which makes it hard to detect substance abuse and depression. However, if a teen is consistently feeling sad or helpless for more than two weeks, depression can take control of their lives.
Common symptoms of teen depression include:
- Feeling sad or “down in the dumps” for the majority of the day
- Lack of interest in hobbies or extracurricular activities they once enjoyed
- Poor grades at school
- Trouble falling asleep or sleeping too much
- Regularly being cranky or irritable
- Lack of energy
- Significant weight loss or gain
- Persistent headaches, stomachaches or aches and pains
- Abusing drugs and alcohol
Teen depression also commonly co-occurs with other conditions such as:
- Substance Use Disorder (SUD)
- Anxiety disorders
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
- Conduct disorder
If teens are negatively affected by family, friends, work or school, teens often isolate and escape their discomfort by engaging in substance abuse and other addictive behaviors as a way to cope with stress. If your teen is showing the above signs of depression, contact us today at (844) 319-5239.
Common Teen Depression Disorders
- Major Depressive Disorder: With major depressive disorder, the depression can last from at least a two-week period to several years and frequently reoccur. Usually there is significant change in mood and loss of interest in activities. As a chronic illness, major depressive disorder is treated long term.
- Persistent Depressive Disorder (formerly Dysthymia): When depressive episodes occur, they are not as intense as the symptoms of major depressive disorder, although they can be similar. The symptoms of persistent depressive disorder are continuous and last for at least two years. Usually there is a consistent negative mood and a persistent “glass half empty” mentality.
- Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder: Persistent irritability, aggression and frequent verbal and physical aggression are symptoms of disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. Usually there is a consistent feeling of unhappiness, disinterest, worthlessness and hopelessness. There are also frequent suicidal thoughts or preoccupations with death.
- Adjustment Disorder: This stress-related disorder is short-term and occurs within 3 months of an event or situation. Teens with adjustment disorder experience depressed and irritable mood, sleep disturbances, and poor performance in school. The stress could be any adjustment from a loss, a breakup with a significant other, financial stress in the family, moving to a new town, to coping with divorce.
At Teen Treatment center, we utilize evidence-based treatment methods such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) to treat teen depression and substance abuse. Your child's individualized treatment plan may include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): As an effective treatment for depression, CBT helps teens change their negative thought patterns. This helps them interpret their environment in a positive and realistic manner.
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): DBT helps teens identify self-destructive behaviors and teaches them coping mechanisms to change these behaviors. Teens develop mindfulness skills to develop healthier behaviors.
- Family therapy: When one member has a mental health disorder, it impacts the whole family. During family therapy, each member can learn about their loved one’s disorder and how to aid in their recovery. Family members also learn how to effectively communicate with one another.
- Personalized education plan: Education is essential to teen development. Teens can continue their studies while receiving treatment via virtual classes, classwork facilitation and GED prep.
- Therapeutic recreation: Volleyball, yoga and music therapy are among the recreational activities that teens can participate in. These activities help teens learn healthy ways to distress and work on their physical and mental well-being.
In addition to the above, the following therapies and services may be included in your teen's treatment:
- Medically-supervised detox (if necessary)
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Individual therapy
- Group counseling
- Life skills training
- Spiritual care
- Learning Coping Skills
Restore Your Family Today
With our comprehensive treatments and your unconditional love and support, your teen can start healing from depression and quit their substance abuse for good. The first step towards recovery is seeking the appropriate medical attention. Call us now at (844) 319-5239. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays.
Read more about Depression and it's treatment on our Adult Depression Treatment pages
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Pages Cited: National Institute on Mental Health, Center for Disease Control and Prevention
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