Teen Mental Health and Depression

You may think that mental health issues like depression are taboo and uncommon among teens. However, with popular shows like Netflix’s “13 Reason’s Why” that put teen depression and suicide in the limelight, the conversation about the problem is back in mainstream media. The show projects the everyday difficulties that teens deal with, like social pressure, dealing with a changing body, and navigating school while discovering their individuality. While the plot itself is fictional, it aims to portray these issues in a more relatable light. What many people don’t know is that studies find that depression is very problematic amongst teens, and at least one out of every eight adolescents have it and struggle with overcoming it. Developing the issue can be caused from many different factors, and waiting to take the appropriate measures to deal with depression in a healthy way can lead to the risk of substance abuse and other harmful addictions to cope.

How does Depression Develop?

Any teen can form depression for a variety of reasons, whether it’s from feelings of being worthless, not enough, or unsuccessful in different aspects of their life. For example, underperforming in school, having a low status socially, being judged for their physical looks or sexual orientation, a bad family life, or constant stress from their environment can all contribute to extreme isolation and negative emotions.

Once depression develops, teens will have a noticeable shift in their behavior and thinking, and exhibit many tell-tale signs. If you suspect that someone you know has depression, look out for signs such as sleeping excessively, eating a lot less or more than usual, feeling indifferent to activities or subjects they previously enjoyed, difficulty concentrating or being assertive, and acting more irresponsible than usual. Other symptoms include frequent memory loss, drop in grades, and constantly feeling anxious or hopeless. Many teens with depression may also turn to using substances like alcohol or drugs to cope with their pain, which can lead to even more serious health and legal consequences down the road.


Overcoming Depression

Depression is a complicated issue to overcome, especially if a teen developed a substance addiction along with it. Luckily, there are medical and rehab professionals out there who are trained to provide you with tips and therapy to help get them back on their feet. Look for a treatment facility that enforces a comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment program. In the meantime, work on strengthening your relationship with the depressed individual by spending time with them, listening to their thoughts, and validating their emotions but not their unhealthy behavior. You can also bring up to topic of seeking therapy by saying that it will bring a positive influence to their life and maybe even provide an outlet to talk about how they’re feeling.

Getting the Right Treatment

Depending on what your teen’s preferences are, there’s many types of therapy they can pursue to overcome their depression. The first step to get on that track is to help them admit that they have a problem, and need to take the measures to address it. Simply trying to convince them if they are in denial may not be enough though, and that’s where medical tests come in hand. If they need more concrete evidence of what is going on, considering taking them to do a blood test to identify specific genetic markers associated with depression. As a result, with the test’s help, doctors can get to the root cause of their problem more quickly and reach a much quicker diagnosis as well.

Closing thoughts

It’s hard to bring up depression, let alone get through it and fully recover. With a little courage, determination to get better, and discipline to seek help, it’s very possible to overcome as long as the person experiencing depression sticks to their action plan.

Additionally, instead of relying on substances that are harmful while going through the process of working through depression, it’s critical to remember that there are much healthier and effective ways to relieve that stress and negativity by pursuing more productive remedies like meditation, a healthier diet, and a more active lifestyle!



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