Teenage is a phase of major changes in a child's life; it is a period of transition from childhood to adulthood, both mentally and physically. Here, the term teenage trauma is a reality as many adolescents feel the blues during this period. But the situation becomes alarming when it triggers the onset of actual depression in them which qualifies for intervention.

According to a “Mental Health Surveillance among Children” report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a total of 13-20 percent children living in the United States experience some kind of mental disorder in a given year.

The CDC said that for some children these mental disorders might lead to serious complications at home, school, and in interpersonal relationships with peers and could possibly lead to substance use, criminal behavior, and other risk-taking behaviors.

Unrealistic academic expectations, peer pressure, parental and societal pressures and a host of other contributing factors may lead to depression in teenagers. When the situation goes out of control and develops into full-blown depression, the treatment becomes unavoidable. Parents, guardians and elders in the family have to shoulder the responsibility under such a circumstance to save their children from the muck.

Recognizing symptoms of teenage depression

Depression in teens can lead to other serious complications, such as bipolar disorder, which has symptoms that alternate between periods of euphoria and depression. Recent surveys indicate that as many as 20 percent teens suffer from clinical depression which calls for a prompt action from parents in the form of immediate treatment for their wards. Here, recognizing the symptoms of depression in teens is of utmost importance.

Signs of depression in teens

It's a matter of concern when teens exhibit the following symptoms for more than two weeks:

  • Poor academic performance in school
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities
  • Feeling of melancholy and hopelessness
  • Severe lack of enthusiasm, energy or motivation
  • Anger and temper
  • Severe reaction to criticism
  • Too much of perfectionism
  • Low self-esteem or guilt
  • Indecision, lack of concentration or forgetfulness
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Substance use
  • Run-ins with authority
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

Treatment of teen depression

Immediate medical intervention is very important for depressed teenagers so that it can be contained at the earliest. For, depression can exacerbate over time and could be life-threatening. Effective treatment procedures for depression in teens include:

Psychotherapy : It helps teens by providing an opportunity to explore events and feelings that are painful or troubling. Psychotherapy also improves coping skills to them.

Medication : It alleviates some symptoms of depression and is often prescribed in conjuction with a behavioral therapy.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy : It helps teens in changing negative thinking patterns and behavior into positive and constructive ones.

Interpersonal therapy : It is more or less like counseling in schools. Interpersonal therapy fosters and maintains healthy relationships at home and school.

There are a plethora of treatment centers spread across the country which can help teens and parents tide over such a predicament.