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Activities to Combat Depression

a teen draws a heart on a window, one of many activities to combat depression

Teenage years can be a tumultuous time filled with change, growth, and a lot of emotions. It’s no surprise that many teens struggle with feelings of sadness and depression. Understanding these feelings, knowing how to manage them with activities to combat depression, and realizing when to seek professional help are keys to helping your teen navigate this challenging time.

Imagine Omaha is here to provide guidance and resources. We offer mental health treatment for teens between 12 to 18. Utilizing evidence-based methods, like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), our professional staff are trained to help your teen identify their problems, recognize negative thinking patterns, and develop strategies to manage symptoms. Find help for your teen in our depression treatment program by calling 888.306.2681.

Understanding How Depression Affects Teens

Depression is more than just feeling sad or going through a rough patch. It’s a serious mental health condition that requires understanding and medical care. Depression can affect every aspect of a teen’s life, from their performance at school to their relationships with friends and family.

Teens with depression may exhibit symptoms like persistent sadness, irritability, loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, difficulty concentrating, feelings of worthlessness, or thoughts of death or suicide. It’s crucial to recognize these signs early and take them seriously.

Activities to Help Manage Depression

Here are seven activities to combat depression for your teen to try. Remember, these activities are not a replacement for professional help but can assist in the overall management of depressive symptoms.

  • Exercise – Regular physical activity can boost mood and act as a natural antidepressant by releasing feel-good endorphins.
  • Healthy eating – A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can improve overall health and mood.
  • Sleep hygiene – Maintaining a regular sleep schedule and ensuring a good night’s sleep can significantly impact mood and energy levels.
  • Mindfulness and meditation – These practices can help reduce stress, improve concentration, and promote a positive outlook.
  • Creative outlets – Engaging in creative activities like drawing, painting, writing, or playing music can provide an emotional outlet and distraction from negative thoughts.
  • Socializing – Spending time with supportive friends and family can provide a sense of belonging and reduce feelings of isolation.
  • Spending time in nature – Exposure to sunlight and nature can increase serotonin levels, which can boost mood and help regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle.

Of course, professional help may still be the best option for your teen. Some signs that a therapist can help include perpetual feelings of sadness that do not lighten, thoughts of self-harm, and constantly feeling tired.

When to Find Professional Depression Help

While these activities can help manage symptoms, they are not a cure for depression. If your teen’s symptoms persist or worsen, it’s important to seek professional help. Mental health professionals, like psychologists and psychiatrists, can provide a proper diagnosis and treatment plan, which may include psychotherapy, medication, or both.

Remember, it’s never a sign of weakness to seek help. In fact, reaching out for professional support is often the first step toward a happier future. Depression is a serious but treatable condition, and with the right help, teens can learn to manage their symptoms and lead healthy, productive lives.

Help Your Teen Start Depression Treatment at Imagine Omaha

If you think your teen is struggling with depression, please reach out to us at Imagine Omaha. We offer individual and family therapy for teens between the ages of 12 to 18, as well as group counseling sessions. Find the help your teen needs to start feeling better.

At Imagine Omaha, our goal is to help your teen learn the skills they need to cope with depression and lead a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact us by calling 888.306.2681 or completing our online form.