Teen Depression Treatment
Depression is a Mood Disorder characterized by an overwhelming, prolonged sense of sadness that doesn’t alter or improve based on circumstances. A person with Depression can still experience periods of relief and periods of more intense sadness, but overall, positive feelings feel dampened or darkened by the overreaching “cloud.” This constant weight of sadness can cause a person to feel apathetic toward life and distanced from people, sometimes leading to suicidal thoughts. When considering various approaches to teen depression treatment, it’s important to understand that depression is a disorder of the brain, and not just a matter of a person just being down, grumpy, or too weak to cheer up.
What Does It Looks Like?
- A sense of sadness that covers everything; things that used to be enjoyable lose their luster and things that used to be simply challenging become seemingly impossible.
- Because the sadness is ever-present and people who have depression have a hard time enjoying anything, apathy sets in, causing people to have a hard time putting forth effort, concentrating at work or school, engaging with others, or sensing purpose in anything.
- This can also lead to people feeling guilty or inadequate, hopeless about things ever improving, and helpless as to what they can do to change things. Because of all of these things, people suffering from depression tend to feel isolated and alone, which can be one of the most overwhelming, impossible feelings of all.
Symptoms of Teen Depression
- Changes in sleep (such as insomnia)
- Changes in appetite and weight
- Stomach aches
- Feelings of guilt and/or failure
- Feelings of oversensitivity to others
- Feelings of rejection
- Urge to withdraw from activities and/or people
The Different Types of Adolescent Depression
Though there are consistencies exhibited among people who have depression, there’s a variety of types of depression, and of course a variety of experiences, for each individual. Some of the different types of depression are:
- Major Depression – Characterized by the sadness lasting two weeks or more, and having prominent effects in the person’s life. There are a few different types of Major Depression, including:
- Melancholic Depression – Trouble sleeping soundly, weight loss, overwhelming guilt, fatigue
- Atypical Depression – Excessive sleep, weight gain, a sense of rejection, overeating, avoiding people
- Post-Partum Depression – Occurs in a mother, shortly after giving birth.
- Seasonal Depression – Triggered by a change in season and less sunlight
Other forms of Depression
- Dysthymia – a chronic but less severe form of depression, lasting two years or more
- Minor Depression – characterized by similar symptoms as Major Depression, but less severe
- Adjustment Disorder – a kind of depression triggered by a recent traumatic event
What Can Help?
With adolescent depression treatment, the bad news is the good news: the bad news is lots of teens in the United States suffer from depression, but the good news is that means there are more treatment options and resources available to help. It also means you’re not alone- many people have gone through similar things, felt at a loss for hope, and then found help that improves things. Some of the options that are most likely to help quickly and thoroughly are:
A variety of forms of talk therapy that can help a person gain clarity to what they’re feeling, insight as to what improves/worsens those feelings, and relief from the overwhelming sense of isolation. Often times, untrue beliefs form alongside depression, and psychotherapy can help reestablish an “objective” point of view, both of reality and self. And, last but certainly not least, engaging in psychotherapy, and establishing a genuine connection with a psychotherapist, can provide relief that the person isn’t facing it alone.
Although medication is never mandatory, it is often a powerful counterpart used in conjunction with talk therapy. Because Depression is most often connected to a chemical imbalance in the brain, medication can help return a person to a “level ground,” from which to address life. Because Depression is such a common Mental Illness among Americans, there are many different options, but most medications address the most central hormones related to moods.
Depending on the severity and length of time a person has been experiencing symptoms of teen depression, often some time spent concentrating on the Illness, with other responsibilities and distractions of life temporarily set aside, can be a very positive experience. Because of the intensity of residential treatment, a person can cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time, and start feeling considerably better, quickly. The other powerful factor of residential treatment is getting a chance to clearly process the message that you’re not the only one, you don’t have to deal with it alone, and things can get better.
How do I Know if I’m Actually Depressed?
Well, if you’re experiencing some of the symptoms described here, then the bottom line is- you might be. And until you make an appointment with either a doctor or psychologist, you won’t know for sure. Unfortunately, people often tend to the side of assuming they’re not, and not getting help until things worsen to the point where they’re forced into getting help. To us, this seems like unnecessary torture. It’s better to know.
Then What Should I Do If I Think I Am?
If you think you might be depressed, but you’re not sure, ask for your help sooner rather than later. If it turns out you’re not clinically depressed but maybe just going through some hard times, then great! No harm done and maybe some counseling would still be good for you. And if turns out you are clinically depressed, then you can start getting help and feeling better now. If you don’t know a professional (such as a doctor or psychologist) to talk to, start by talking to a parent, teacher, or mentor you trust, but when you do, make sure not to downplay what you’re feeling. You’re message should ultimately be: I need help with this.
Then What Happens?
Well, if you’re diagnosed as being depressed, a doctor or psychologist will help figure out what kind of treatment plan best fits you and what you’re comfortable with, including options like those listed above. It’s true that there might be some unknown, rocky territory ahead, but the chances are that soon, you’re going to start feeling better, not worse.
Teen Depression Treatment at Paradigm
The most important step is finding professional help, as soon as possible, wherever is best for you. There’s no reason to face this alone, though many people unfortunately try to do so, for far too long. We believe you should go to the place that best fits your needs, and of course we will welcome you if that place is Paradigm. Here are a few things about how Paradigm’s teen depression treatment is unique:
A Healthy Escape
A lot of times, people suffering from depression can have a strong desire to get away from everything. This is why they often pull away from friends, family, and activities, because their feelings tend to overwhelm everything. Paradigm can be a healthy escape and a strong experience of teen depression treatment, combined. We find that the beautiful setting- off the beaten path, away from much of the noise of normal life, can help people feel more free and open during teen depression treatment.
Not A Big Crowd
Many times, one of the biggest stressors in an adolescent’s life is the huge swarm of people watching, and often judging, every move. It can feel extremely intimidating to be honest and open (about feeling depressed) and impossible to change, while you’re dealing with all of that every day. The small number of people at Paradigm can often make for an easier time in teen depression treatment, because it’s just easier to focus on yourself.