The teenage years are already fraught with hormonal, emotional, and social challenges, and tend to be difficult for even the most stable, healthy kids. Because the teen years are inherently difficult, bouts of moodiness or angst are not uncommon. However, depression is not part of the coming-of-age process and should be taken seriously if it rears its ugly head in the life of your child.
Potential Symptoms of Teen Depression
If you suspect your teenage child may be suffering from something more than melancholy, there are a few things you should watch out for. You may have cause for concern if your child exhibits any of the following:
- Social isolation
- Disconnection from or conflict with close friends and family members
- New disinterest in normal hobbies or activities
- Difficulty with concentration and memory
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Poor performance in school
- Poor self-esteem
- Drug and alcohol use
- Irritability and agitation, even over minor issues
- Self-harm and self-mutilation
- Significant weight gain or weight loss
- Major changes in diet and appetite
- Angry fits and emotional outbursts
Also pay attention to the ways your child speaks about themselves and the way they talk about the future. Tune in if your child consistently refers to themselves in a derogatory manner or displays signs of self-hatred, shame, or a sense of worthlessness. If your child seems particularly focused on their failures or shortcomings or tends to view the future as bleak and hopeless, these could also be signs of depression.
My Teen Needs Help Immediately – What Can I Do?
Many people who experience depression, especially teenagers, tend to be highly pessimistic about the future, to the point of wanting to take their own life. If your child is having thoughts of suicide or has indicated that they have thought about how they would kill themselves, immediate intervention may be necessary. Call 911 immediately and do not leave your child alone if they have attempted suicide or have indicated that they have made a plan to kill or harm themselves.
How Can I Help My Teenager Deal with Depression?
Symptoms of depression can worsen over time and become more and more heightened and difficult to treat if not addressed quickly. However, parents who are concerned about the wellbeing of a depressed teenager need not go in alone. Our team of therapists at Therapeutic Solutions is here to serve you, your child, and your family during this difficult time and work with you to address the challenges your teen is experiencing.
Call Therapeutic Solutions for Help Treating Teen Depression
Our Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program (A-IOP) is designed for teenagers who are facing emotional and behavioral difficulties, including depression. While your teen is enrolled in our program, we provide them with helpful tools to foster strong family relationships, positive communication, and healthy conflict resolution, in addition to equipping them with strategies for managing and coping with depression.
One of the greatest barriers to participation in programs like ours tends to be scheduling. In order to ensure your child has access to the help they need, we have structure our A-IOP in order to accommodate your family’s schedule and keep your child in school during regular hours.
For more information regarding our Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program or any of our other emotional and behavioral health programs, call (530) 899-3150 to speak to one of our caring staff members, or send us an email to request your first appointment.