Being a teenager isn’t easy. In fact, a teen’s journey can be an extremely bumpy ride. During the adolescent years, teens experience explosive growth in both the body and brain. With that growth, teens also experience increased pressure to succeed academically and have increased responsibilities at home. Coupled with peer pressure and the need to “fit in,” teenagers have a lot on their plate. For some young people, the push and pull of the teen years can be too much to handle. As a result, they can experience mental illnesses such as depression.
If you are a parent and believe your son or daughter is struggling with depression, this article will outline the signs of teen depression and where you can find specialized help to help your teen. Are the signs of teen depression noticeable in your child? Thrive Teen Treatment is a top-tier teen treatment center in Southern California. Call us today to learn more about our evidence-based teen depression treatment programs.
Sadly, teen depression is a common and crippling mental illness. According to data, 9.2% of American youth were diagnosed with major depressive disorder in 2020. The MHA also reported that 13% of adolescents aged 12 to 17 suffered from at least one major depressive episode in that year. Additionally, it is reported that 10% of boys and 22% of girls reported suicide ideation in the previous year.
There are a variety of causes for depression in teens. Perhaps the most obvious underlying cause is a family history of depression. Another common risk factor is issues related to the explosion in hormonal growth during the teenage years. Another factor in the development of depression in teens is experiencing traumatic life events. These can include the death of a loved one, surviving a natural disaster, school shootings, or being the victim of physical, mental, or sexual abuse.
Shockingly, teen depression affects girls more than boys.
In an article published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 19.5% of girls aged 12-17 experience major depressive episodes compared to only 5.8% of boys in the same age range. Additionally, children of two or more races experience a higher percentage of major depressive episodes than children of other ethnicities.
When compared to adults, the signs of teen depression are expressed in a different manner. For example, one of the common signs of depression in teens is unexplained physical aches and pains, while adults experience emotional pain. Another common depressed teenage sign is sleep disturbances. While teens don’t experience insomnia that adults with depression face, teens will sleep during odd hours. Also, teens will isolate much like adults but still hang out with their peers.
Other signs of depression in teens include the following
To minimize the signs of teen depression, many will turn to drugs and alcohol. While substances provide short-term relief, prolonged substance use can be very dangerous in teenagers. The main reason is that the teen brain is still growing at a rapid pace. Since drug use significantly alters brain chemistry and functioning, teens who use drugs are more likely to experience cognitive deficiencies that will last well into adulthood. Also, teens who use drugs will become addicted sooner when compared to adults creating a dual diagnosis that is extremely difficult to treat. It is estimated that 20 to 30% of teens who have depression also have a substance abuse problem.
If your son or daughter is experiencing the signs of depression in teenagers, you must find a treatment center that specializes in the unique needs of young people.
As one of the pre-eminent teen treatment programs in Southern California, Thrive Teen Treatment features proven depression treatment programs that are evidence-based, extensively tested, and administered by personnel with a proven track record of working with teens. Your teen deserves health and happiness; call Thrive Teen Treatment today and help your teen take back their life.