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a child looks sad during depression treatment for children

Depression Treatment for Adolescents and Teens

Like adults, most adolescents will experience feelings of sadness, loneliness, or irritability from time to time. However, if your adolescent seems persistently sad, hopeless, or isolated, and it is impacting their relationships and daily functioning, they may be experiencing childhood depression. It can be challenging to determine whether or not your adolescent is clinically depressed. You should always trust your instincts regarding your adolescent’s well-being and seek professional help if you suspect something is amiss.

Located in Toledo, Ohio, Beyond Healthcare provides outpatient mental health services to adolescents and teens ages 11 to 17 and their families, including treatment for childhood depression. Our highly-skilled treatment team understands adolescent’s and teen’s unique mental health needs and provides expert care in a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment. Whether your teen has been diagnosed with depression or you are looking for an assessment, we can help. Reach out online or call 833.698.0453.

Learn to Recognize the Signs and Symptoms of Childhood Depression

Most people think of depression as an adult problem, but it can affect people of any age, including adolescents and teens. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depression impacts over four percent of adolescents and teens ages three to 17. Childhood depression frequently goes hand-in-hand with anxiety and other disorders, including ADHD and behavior disorders.

Unfortunately, much of childhood depression goes undiagnosed and untreated because it is mistaken for regular psychological and emotional changes that occur with growth and development. Untreated childhood depression can have short- and long-term consequences, making it critical for parents and caregivers to recognize depression from usual bouts of sadness.

While depression manifests itself differently for everyone, the following are some typical signs and symptoms to watch for:

  • Changes in appetite, either increased or decreased
  • Changes in sleep habits, either sleeping too much or not enough
  • Persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Constant feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Impaired thinking or difficulty concentrating
  • Increased sensitivity to rejection
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or previously enjoyed activities
  • Irritability, angry outbursts, or crying outbursts
  • Social withdrawal or isolation from family

Adolescents and teens suffering from depression will often have somatic complaints, such as headaches or stomachaches that do not respond to treatment. Additionally, they will struggle to maintain adequate daily functioning at home, school, and in relationships with peers and family. Symptoms of depression may vary in different settings and at different times.

Treatment for Depression in Adolescents and Teens

The most effective treatment for depression in adolescents and teens typically involves a combination of psychotherapy and medication. At Beyond Healthcare, we know that deciding to medicate your adolescent is not made lightly. We do not pressure parents into this decision but provide the information and support to help them make an informed decision. Our psychiatrists and nurse practitioners are experts at providing medication management to ensure the safety and effectiveness of any prescribed medications.

Psychotherapy includes individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy. Among the approaches shown to be most effective for the treatment of depression in adolescents and teens are the following:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
  • Interpersonal therapy (ITP)
  • Play therapy
  • Psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • Supportive therapy
  • Strengths-based therapy

At Beyond Healthcare, we provide a thorough assessment to ensure an accurate diagnosis and take the time to develop a course of treatment designed to meet your adolescent’s specific needs while uncovering the roots of their depression and providing the tools to manage symptoms.

Call Beyond Healthcare for Depression Treatment for Adolescents and Teens

Childhood depression does not necessarily present itself in all areas of life and can come and go, adding to the challenge of identifying it. If your adolescent seems sad, irritable, or hopeless most of the time for two weeks or longer, do not hesitate to reach out for help. Untreated childhood depression can lead to other severe and lasting problems.

At Beyond Healthcare, we know learning that your adolescent has depression can be confusing and frightening. We take the time to thoroughly explain your adolescent’s diagnosis, course of treatment, and prognosis. We also provide support for the entire family. Call us at 833.698.0453 to learn more about depression treatment for adolescents and teens.