Depression is a widespread, ongoing mental health issue in communities throughout America. Many people primarily associate this condition with adults. However, it is also relatively common among teenagers. Teen depression can look quite similar to adult depression. However, in some cases, it looks quite different. For this reason, specialized mental health treatment for teens can be essential. For a specialized depression treatment program in Omaha, turn to the adolescent mental health experts at Imagine.
Types of Depression
Depression is not a single mental health issue. Instead, the term applies to two related conditions. These types of depression are:
- Major depressive disorder, also known as major depression or clinical depression
- Persistent depressive disorder, also known as dysthymia
Major depression is the most common depression disorder. It produces severe forms of symptoms such as guilt, sadness, hopelessness, fatigue, and an inability to feel pleasure. Dysthymia is a less common and less severe depressive disorder. However, it lasts for much longer periods of time than episodes of major depression.
Recognizing Depression in Teens
Teenagers are often under tremendous emotional pressure. Common sources of this pressure include their peers and the demands of school. They also include changes in teens’ developing bodies. Separately or together, such pressures may contribute to depressed states of mind.
Depression can be difficult to spot in teenagers. That’s true, in large part, because adolescence is an emotionally trying time for most teens. During this phase of life, moments of sadness, moodiness, and distress are not uncommon.
However, diagnosable depression goes beyond such fleeting moments. It triggers changes severe enough to disrupt your child’s ability to function. One of the changes that tend to appear early on in teen depression is withdrawal from social contact. Other common, telltale signs of depression in teens include:
- Notable mood changes
- Unexplained changes in normal appetite
- Unusual lack of energy
- Altered sleep patterns
- Declining grades in school
Your child may also start drinking or using drugs.
Depression Treatment for Teens
Fortunately, depression is one of the most treatable mental health conditions. This fact holds true for teenagers as well as adults. Today, the most common depression treatment for teens is cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT. In CBT, your child learns how depression is reinforced by certain negative thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. The therapy also shows your teen how to identify these negative states when they arise. In addition, it helps your teen challenge them and replace them with health-supporting thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
If your child is mildly affected by depression, therapy may be enough to support their recovery. However, depression treatment programs commonly use medication to help teens with moderate or severe symptoms.
As a rule, the medications of choice are antidepressants. Two antidepressants have been specifically approved for use in teenagers. The first of these medications is fluoxetine or Prozac. The second is escitalopram or Lexapro. Your child’s doctor may also recommend the use of other options. Medication may be used without therapy. However, generally speaking, a combination of the two provides more consistent results.
Seek Help from Imagine’s Depression Treatment Program in Omaha, NE
Worried your teenager may be affected by depression? Contact the professionals at Imagine Omaha. We have the expertise needed to diagnose teen depression. We can also identify any other conditions that occur alongside depression.
Imagine is your source for a trustworthy depression treatment program in Omaha, Nebraska. We specialize in mental health services for teens and preteens. Our goal is to help your child regain a vital sense of well-being. To learn more about our teen-centric depression treatment program, call us today at 402.226.5385. We’re also available through our online form.