Depression in Adolescents and Teenagers

Depression in Adolescents and Teenagers

Not only adults experience depression. Adolescents and teenagers can also experience depression. However, depression is treatable.

What is Depression in Adolescents and Teenagers?

Depression is an illness when feelings are persistent and interfere with a adolescent’s ability to function. Adolescents and teenagers who are under stress, experience loss or have attentional, learning, conduct or anxiety disorders are at a high risk for depression.

Depression is also hereditary. However, depressed adolescents and teenagers differ greatly from depressed adults. Adolescent psychiatrists advise that parents need to be aware of signs of depression in their teenagers.

What Are Signs of Depression in Adolescents and Teenagers ?

  • Change in eating or sleeping habits
  • Decreased interest in activities
  • Difficulty with relationships
  • Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
  • Frequent absences from school
  • Frequent complaints of physical ailments such as headaches and stomachaches
  • Frequent sadness or crying
  • Hopelessness
  • Inability to enjoy favorite activities
  • Increased irritability, anger or hostility
  • Low energy
  • Low self-esteem or guilt
  • Persistent boredom
  • Poor communication
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor performance in school
  • Social isolation
  • Talks or efforts to run away from home
  • Thoughts or expressions of suicide or self-destructive behavior
  • Alcohol or other drugs as a way of trying to feel better

How Are Depressed Adolescents and Teenagers Diagnosed and Treated?

Early diagnosis and treatment are vital for depressed adolescents. Depression is a real illness and requires professional help. Comprehensive treatment includes both individual and family therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy are forms of therapy that have been effective in treating depression. Treatment may also include antidepressant medication.

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