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Adolescent Depression

Overview

Adolescent or teenage depression is a disorder in which adolescent loses his self-worth and interest in usual daily activities and faces discouragement. It is believed that the disorder affects the teenager’s personality significantly and as compared to adults, teenagers are more prone towards depression. Especially, adolescent girls are twice as likely to get affected from the condition as compared to boys. Although, depression can be treated successfully, only 20% of adolescent depression cases ever seek medical help.

Alternatives names of the disorder are depression-adolescents and teenage depression.


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Causes

It is not wrong to say that due to temporary stress or unfavourable situations, many times, teenagers experience depression. It is commonly observed that those adolescents who have low self-esteem and easily lose self-control over negative events are likely to suffer from depression. Other common causes are:

  • Influence of the sex hormones
  • Conflict with parents
  • Failure at school
  • Death of close relative or good friend
  • Breakup with girlfriend or boyfriend

Sometimes, eating disorders like bulimia, etc also associated with depression.


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Signs & Symptoms

The most common symptoms of Adolescent depression are persistence sadness, irritability, aggression, anger, etc. Other common symptoms experienced by teenagers are described below:

  • Changes in sleeping and eating habits
  • Hostility, agitation and restlessness
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Tearfulness of frequent crying
  • Less interaction with family members and friends
  • Lack of energy, motivation and enthusiasm
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • Criminal behaviour
  • Episodes of memory loss

It is advised if these symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks and cause excessive distress, then do not make delay in taking required treatment.

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Prevention

If any time, you are experiencing low moods or experiencing many depression symptoms, then seek assistance of counsellors or psychologists immediately.


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Treatments
Conservative Psychotherapy

Adolescent depression can be successfully treated with love and support of family members, experts’ assistance of psychotherapy and antidepressant medications. Family support plays a crucial role in overcoming teenager from the painful condition of depression.

Conservative Modern Medicine

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), a kind of antidepressant, is given by health experts for treating the condition. However, the medication carries a warning that it may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts among children. Therefore, families have to remain alert and keep on noticing any kind of behavioural changes in teenagers. An important fact is although a lot of anti-depressants are available in the market; all medications are not recommended for teens and children. According to FDA guidelines, if any teenager is administering anti-depressant medication, then it is necessary that teenage must consult with the doctors.

Conservative Psychotherapy

If family conflict is the main cause of adolescent depression, then family therapy is recommended. Not only family support, but support from teachers and friend is also required for treating the disorder. Severe depression may require hospitalization in a psychiatric unit for certain period of time. Listening to teenager’s problem, supporting him/her always, making him feel importance, etc are some of the most recommended and safe ways of treating adolescent depression.

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