What is Depression in teens?

 

Teen depression is a severe mental health problem that creates a constant feeling of sadness and a total loss of interest in routine activities. It influences teenager's thinking, feelings, and behavior and it creates functional, physical, and emotional issues. Though depression can happen at any point in life, symptoms may vary for teens and adults.


Problems like academic expectations, pressure from friends, and changing bodies can bring major ups and downs for teenagers.

But for some teens, the lows are more than just momentary feelings — they're a symptom of depression.


  • Mental health conditions hold for 16% of the global burden of disease and grievance in people aged 10-19 years.
  • Half of all mental health conditions begin by 14 years of age but most cases are hidden and not treated.
  • Internationally, depression is one of the leading causes of sickness and disability among adolescents.
  • Suicide is the third leading reason for death in 15-19-year-olds.



Causes of Depression in Teens



It's not known what are the reasons behind depression but many issues may be included.


These are as follows:

  • Brain chemistry. Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that occur naturally and carry signals to different parts of your brain and body. When these chemicals are irregular or impaired, the working of nerve receptors and nerve systems varies which leads to depression.
  • Hormones. Modifications in the body's balance of hormones may be included in causing or triggering depression.
  • Inherited traits. Depression is more widespread in people whose blood relatives — like a parent or grandparent — also have a mental health condition.
  • Early childhood trauma. Traumatic events during childhood, like physical or emotional abuse, or the loss of a parent, may cause changes in the brain that make a person more drawn to depression.
  • Learned patterns of negative thinking. Teen depression may be associated with learning to feel helpless — rather than learning to feel skilled in finding solutions for life's challenges.

How is teen depression diagnosed?


In 2016, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) began to recommend that all youth ages 12 to 18 years old be screened for major depressive disorder (MDD). MDD is also called clinical depression.

In 2018, for the first time, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) approved worldwide depression screening for youth 12 years old and up. Youth can obtain this screening from their chief care doctors.

Doctors may take help of the AAP guidelines or adult guidelines to monitor for depression in 18- and 19-year-olds.

For proper treatment, it’s suggested that a psychologist or psychiatrist perform a psychological evaluation, asking the teen a series of questions about their moods, behaviors, and thoughts.

The evaluation should also take into explanation the teen’s family history, school performance, and console in friend settings


Symptoms of Depression in Teens



Teen depression symptoms comprise a change based on a teenager's previous approach and behavior that can lead to significant issues at home or school, in social activities, or different areas of life.


Depression symptoms can differ in severity, but changes in your teen's emotions and behavior may comprise the examples below.


Emotional changes due to depression


Be alert for emotional changes, like:


  • Feelings of sadness, which can comprise crying spells for no actual reason
  • Frustration or feelings of anger, even over small issues
  • Feeling fruitless or empty
  • Short-tempered or annoyed mood
  • Loss of interest or enjoyment in normal activities
  • Loss of interest in, or clash with, family and friends
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of insignificance or guilt
  • Fixation on past failures or overstated self-blame or self-criticism
  • Severe sensitivity to refusal or failure, and the requirement for extreme reassurance
  • Trouble thinking, focus, making decisions, and remembering things
  • Ongoing sense that life and the future are harsh and bleak
  • Recurrent thoughts of death, dying, or suicide

Behavioral changes due to Depression


Look out for changes in behavior, like:


  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Sleeplessness or sleeping too much
  • Variation in appetite — reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased cravings for food and gain in weight
  • Usage of alcohol or drugs
  • Anxiety or restlessness — for example, pacing, hand-wringing or an incapability to sit still
  • Slow in the thinking process, speaking or body movements
  • Common complaints of unexplained body aches and headaches, which may comprise frequent visits to the school nurse
  • Social loneliness
  • Bad school performance or frequent absences from school
  • Less consideration to personal hygiene or manifestation
  • Irritated outbursts, troublesome or risky behavior, or other acting-out behaviors
  • Self-harm — for instance, cutting, burning, or piercing and tattooing
  • Making a suicide plan or a suicide effort



Treatment of Depression



Treatment varies on the type and brutality of your teenager's depression symptoms. A mixture of talk therapy (psychotherapy) and medication can be very efficient for most teens with depression.


Here's a closer look at depression treatment choices.


Medications


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted two medications for teen depression — fluoxetine (Prozac) and escitalopram (Lexapro). Converse with your doctor about medication options and probable side effects, weighing the advantages and risks.

 

Psychotherapy


Psychotherapy, also known as psychological counseling or talk therapy, is a common term for treating depression by discussing depression and concerning issues with a mental health expert. Various types of psychotherapy can be efficient for depression, like cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy.

 

  • Study about the causes of depression
  • Learn how to recognize and make changes in harmful behaviors or thoughts
  • Discover relationships and experiences
  • Find better ways to manage and solve problems
  • Set practical goals

Hospitalization and other treatment programs


In some teens, depression is so harsh that a hospital stay is needed, particularly if your teen is at risk of self-harm or hurting someone else. Getting psychiatric treatment at a hospital can aid keep your teen calm and safe until symptoms are better handled.

 

Teen depression isn't a flaw or something that can be conquered with determination — it can have serious effects and needs long-term treatment. For most teens, depression symptoms relieve with treatment like medication and psychological counseling.


When to see a doctor


If depression signs and symptoms persist, begin to hinder your teen's life, or cause you to have thoughts about suicide or your teen's safety, talk to a doctor or a mental health expert trained to work with adolescents. Your teen's family doctor or pediatrician is a fine place to start. Or your teen's school may suggest someone.


Depression symptoms perhaps won't get better on their own — and they may get worse or direct to other problems if untreated. Depressed teenagers may be in danger of suicide, even if signs and symptoms don't show to be severe.


If you are a teen and you believe that you are depressed or you have a friend who might be depressed, please don't wait for any magic. Talk to a health care provider like your school nurse or doctor. Share your problem with a close friend, a spiritual leader, a parent, a teacher, or someone else you can trust blindly.


Talk to a health care contributor such as your doctor or school nurse. Share your problems with a parent, a close friend, a spiritual leader, a teacher, or someone else you have faith.

 



References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/teen-depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20350985

https://www.healthline.com/health/adolescent-depression

https://www.verywellmind.com/teen-depression-3200844

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