Depression is often colloquially characterized as feeling low and gloomy, but in more extreme cases, depression is a diagnosable mental health condition that incorporates intense feelings of despair, worthlessness, and hopelessness. If your teen is experiencing some of these unrelenting feelings, it can impact her ability to lead a happy healthy life, and it’s important to seek out treatment as soon as possible.
How to help teens with depression and options for treatment
Teen depression is very damaging when left untreated, so if you suspect your teen is suffering, don’t delay action hoping the symptoms will go away on their own. Address your concerns directly with your teen in a non-judgemental way by letting her know specifically what depression symptoms and actions you’ve noticed and why you’re worried. Give her the space and time to share with you what she’s been experiencing and really listen to what she is saying without interrupting to ask questions or give advice.
Once a line of communication has been opened, it’s important to receive a diagnosis so your child will have access to the various treatment options. A doctor will typically need to do a combination of a physical exam, some lab tests, and psychological evaluation to pinpoint a diagnosis. After a diagnosis has been made, there are many treatment options ranging from to medication to residential treatment.
One of the most common treatment routes for teen depression is medication. The FDA has approved Prozac and Lexapro for medication options for teen depression, and it’s best to talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks and which would be best for your child. With medication, it can take trial and error to find the right dosage, so encourage patience with your child as you work through this adjustment. You can also help this process along by making sure your teen is taking the prescribed doses consistently.
Another common treatment that is usually prescribed in tandem with medication is psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy. Talk therapy involves speaking with a mental health professional about your teen’s depression and their related issues. In these sessions, you and your child can learn more about the causes of depression, how to identify and make changes to behaviors, how to create healthier coping habits, how to set realistic goals, and how to ease depressive symptoms.
For some teens, they may need a more all-encompassing approach to care to help them beat their depression, and residential treatment programs like Red Mountain Colorado can provide them the help they need. Red Mountain Colorado can help teens recover from depression in two stages. The first stage involves developing healthier habits such as coping methods, nutrition, proper sleep, and exercise to help improve mood and emotion regulation. The second stage involves self-actualization and empowerment which helps teens move beyond depression and create lasting change.
Red Mountain Colorado Can Help
Red Mountain Colorado is a leading residential treatment center for teens aged 14-17 that is uniquely designed to help adolescents heal from trauma that underlies other issues. We work with teens who have been struggling with behavioral and emotional challenges such as depression, anxiety and trauma.
In order to help teens struggling with depression, we integrate evidence-based mindfulness techniques into individual and group therapy and teach our students self-advocacy skills to help rebuild their self-esteem. For more information please call (970) 316-7683.