A teen’s everyday life can be stressful, upsetting, and challenging. Mood swings and irritability are common as teens navigate the ups and downs of daily life while trying to manage raging hormones, academic stress, peer pressure, and questions about their identity and the future.
Periods of temporary sadness are to be expected. However, if your teen’s unhappiness lasts for two weeks or longer and is accompanied by other signs of depression, it is imperative to seek help.
Teen depression is a serious mental health condition that affects how your teen thinks, feels, and behaves and can have significant short-and long-term effects when left untreated. At Imagine Nampa, we specialize in adolescent mental health. Our depression treatment program can help your teen and family process the causes of depression, learn the skills to manage symptoms, and prevent future episodes. Contact our team at 208.203.8574 to get help today.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Teens?
The most common sign of depression in teens is persistent sadness for no apparent reason. However, depressed teens can also present with extreme irritability and seemingly unprovoked angry outbursts. They may become withdrawn, spend hours alone in their room, and lack motivation for even the simplest tasks.
You may notice significant changes in their sleeping and eating habits. For example, they may stay up all night and want to sleep all day, lose their appetite, or begin eating compulsively. Other signs and symptoms of depression in teens can include, but are not limited to:
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Irresponsible or rebellious behavior
- Complaints of headaches, stomachaches, backaches, or fatigue
- Excessive or inappropriate guilt
- Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
- Decreased performance in school or school refusal
- Drug or alcohol use
- Sexual promiscuity
Teens with depression are particularly vulnerable to suicide because they are impulsive and often do not have the coping skills to deal with their emotional distress. Often, they are uncomfortable talking to family or close friends about it, particularly if they have suicidal thoughts.
Tips for Coping with Depression
A depression treatment program provides teens with the coping skills to manage the symptoms of depression. However, it does take time to learn to integrate these skills into everyday life. As teens learn, lifestyle changes and self-help strategies can be crucial in supplementing and supporting professional teen depression treatment. The benefits of lifestyle changes, including regular exercise, a healthy diet, a regular sleep schedule, and avoiding drugs and alcohol, can not be overstated.
Self-help strategies for coping with depression include:
- Staying connected with friends and family
- Doing things you enjoy
- Limiting social media
- Breathing exercises
- Spending time outdoors
- Listening to or creating music
- Creating art
These activities have been shown to increase the brain’s natural “feel good” chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, which are directly linked to improved levels of happiness and contentment.
Contact Imagine Nampa for Teen Depression Treatment
Teen depression tends to occur in spurts. However, once they have had a depressive episode, they are more likely to have another, which is why it is imperative to seek help. Parenting teens can be exhausting and challenging. Many parents are unsure of how to manage their teen’s depression. Therefore, education and counseling for parents are integral parts of Imagine Nampa’s teen depression treatment program.
We understand that depression impacts every teen differently, so take time to understand your teen’s unique needs and develop an approach to treatment specifically suited to their needs. Our treatment programs and therapies include:
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
- Educational Advocacy
- Trauma-informed care
- Medication management
- Co-occurring disorders interventions
- Crisis intervention
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
At Imagine Nampa, we understand the complex nature of teen depression. Through our comprehensive, holistic approach to adolescent mental health treatment, your teen will receive the tools to lead a healthy, fulfilling life. Contact us at 208.203.8574 to learn more about our treatment programs.