Teens are facing a lot in life right now. They juggle social pressures, social media, school stress, and living under the same roof as their parents. They may want to feel freedom and gain independence or are stressed at the thought of even moving out. What most people don’t know is that younger teens are at more risk than ever for developing symptoms of depression and anxiety. If they speak up to their friends, they could be faced with embarrassment or labeled “weird” for not pretending like everything is okay. Depression is much more than just a phase since it isn’t easy to magically shake off. If someone doesn’t take action and buries their frustrations, pent up emotions and physical signs of depression can slowly take over. A teenager could fall into a cycle of seeking dangerous and addictive faces as well like drugs or alcohol. Make sure you’re aware of how teen depression works and how to stop it!
Help For Depression In Teens
For any teen that is going through depression, it is crucial to get help as soon as possible. They may think that going to a counselor or a treatment center is making way too much of a “big deal”, but the consequences that follow unresolved depression are much greater than the actions they need to take now. Treatment centers around the country have specialists that are meant to directly help teenagers adapt through puberty, social pressures, and school anxiety all while dealing with symptoms of depression. Their unique stage in life takes a unique professional perspective, so don’t encourage a teenager to go to any expert for help.
Most universities offer their own counseling services at no cost for students and many high schools now also have their own in-house specialist. If a teenager feels uncomfortable being around their peers, they can also explore online support groups and off-campus centers in the community. Holistic medicine centers and other natural approaches help teenagers treat their mind, body, and spirit instead of push the use of mediations. Some teens suffer from adverse side effects from anti-depression meds so having a consultation meeting in the beginning is crucial. Educate yourself with what your options are if you suspect symptoms of depression coming on.
Red Flags Of Depression
Depression is a silent disorder, but physical signs of it can come about in a teenager over time. The teenager can exhibit extreme weight loss or weight gain, worse off sleeping habits, poor hygiene, and lose control of their physical appearance in general. They may just look a lot paler from malnutrition or tired from lack of quality sleep in general. If you know the teenager well you will tell a difference in the way they carry themselves. As a result of not taking care of themselves, they will perform more weakly in their sports or school activities, seem more “out of it”, and may catch diseases more easily than you remembered as well. Girls and guys may show differing signs of depression so keep a keen eye out for any sudden changes.
Teens with depression go through intense mental trauma. Since their hormones start to become more erratic from the disorder, their emotions can experience frequent highs and lows even throughout one day. One morning they may seem fine while a few hours later they could appear like they’re about to cry. If this is much more sudden in change than usual, try your best to talk to them and keep an open mind. If they start to, appear more irritable or down than usual, or generally “unplugged” from the world then they may be going through something. Most importantly, a teenager can begin to lose sight of their normal personality, relationships, and interests as well. They may start to appear less present and skip invites to events because they are going through an episode of depression.
Impact Of Depression On The Brain
Depression can affect a teen’s brains in dramatic ways. Not only do they see the world in a negative light but they may start to be overly critical of themselves and think about lies regarding their reality. They have a hard time thinking about positive thoughts and could intensify experiences or interactions with people much more than usual. Teens with depression are also much more prone to stress and can get easily overwhelmed by small problems. They may feel like the sky is falling down at any moment and may over exaggerate certain obstacles that frequently happen in everyday life. A family history of depression could play a role in a teenager’s risk in developing symptoms. Depression can run in families, but not everyone with a depressed family member is also destined to become depressed. Talk to anyone in your family who went through depression and you’ll see that often it was a combination of stress in life, their poor health, and other factors that led to their disorders.
Being depressed as a teen and getting over depression doesn’t have to be as hard as we all think it is. We all have hope and have the power to take meaningful action. The key is to get professional help from an adolescent drug detox treatment center, a counselor, and a support group so you know exactly what steps to take. Everyone will have a different experience with depression so remember that we can’t expect certain tactics that worked for others to do the same for us. It takes time to learn our bodies, navigate our minds, and conquer our temptations so we are truly making improvement. Be sure to ask as many questions as you need to along the way so you aren’t left in the dark!