Depression Treatment for Adolescents
The CDC noted in 2020 that depression is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the US, with over 18% of adults nationally having been diagnosed with depression at some point. Many people think of depression as just feeling sad, but for those who suffer from it, it is far worse than everyday sadness. Depression, also known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, affects how a person thinks, feels, and performs daily activities, like eating, sleeping, and working. For some teens, it can make them feel like life is not worth living.
What Is Adolescent Depression?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression is a “common but serious mood disorder.” The disorder affects how people think, feel, and handle daily activities. In many cases for young people today, depression significantly impacts their ability to attend school, and in the most extreme cases, to even get out of bed each day.
A depression diagnosis requires the presence of symptoms for a minimum of two weeks. Some forms of depression develop because of specific life events. Here are the different types of depression that someone in Dedham, MA, could be diagnosed with:
- Major depressive disorder
- Persistent depressive disorder
- Perinatal depression
- Seasonal affective disorder
- Depression with symptoms of psychosis
People diagnosed with bipolar disorder (once known as manic depression) experience depressive symptoms and manic episodes usually characterized by unusually elevated moods with increased activity.
In 2022, 15% of youth nationally had reported at least one major depressive episode, according to Mental Health America. Thankfully, the percentage in Massachusetts was slightly lower than the national average. However, depression does affect adolescents in Dedham, MA, and elsewhere in the surrounding community. Several factors contribute to the development of depression.
- Biochemistry: Some chemicals within the brain can contribute to depression symptoms. This is not entirely understood scientifically.
- Genetics: Depression can be a family trait. For example, if there is a set of identical twins in the family and one of them has been diagnosed with depression, the other twin has a higher chance (about 70%) of also developing depression.
- Personality: Those with low self-esteem, who become easily overwhelmed in stressful situations, or who have a pessimistic outlook are more likely to have depression at some point in life.
- Environment: Exposure to neglect, abuse, poverty, or violence can cause vulnerability to depression for some people.
Treatment for Adolescent Depression
For affected youth in Dedham, MA, and the surrounding area, depression is often a treatable mental disorders. Many people who are treated for depression respond well to the treatment. Our objective is to target gradual relief from symptoms. When there is substance use, such as marijauna use or vaping, treating depression while also targeting and addressing the use can support the best chance for recovery from symptoms.
Before a treatment program is begun in Dedham, MA, a healthcare provider should conduct a thorough diagnostic evaluation. At New Harbor, we conduct a thorough clinical screening, and when needed, collaborate with medical providers. Evaluation is a valuable tool for determining what role family history and cultural factors play in the symptoms the patient is experiencing.
After the evaluation, our treatment professionals determine the best treatment plan for the individual. That plan could include medications and psychotherapy. Some self-help behaviors include exercise, regular good quality sleep, eating right, and avoiding alcohol consumption.
Getting Help for Adolescent Depression
Treatment for depression in teens is essential for overcoming these challenges and improving their quality of life. The best treatment plan may include a combination of medication and psychotherapy, as well as self-help practices like exercise, healthy sleep, good nutrition, and avoiding substances. With our comprehensive approach to whole person care, we can recommend a variety of interventions to support overall recovery.