Teen and Adolescent Depression Treatment at Innercept

Depression is a common experience for teens and adolescents, with more and more individuals in this age group—especially girls—struggling with the condition. A widely misunderstood condition, depression is more than a case of the blues that teens can simply “snap out of” with prompting from others.

Depression can take many emotional forms, from sadness to anger, numbness, or boredom. It can sap an individual’s energy and leave teenagers feeling hopeless. In severe cases, it can even lead to self-harm or suicidal thoughts. This is why getting professional help to treat depression is so crucial. Our mental health treatment programs for teens and young adults can help individuals dealing with depression.

What is Depression?

Depression is a serious and common mental health disorder that negatively impacts the way a person feels, behaves, and thinks. Also known as major depressive disorder, depression can cause people to feel extremely sad. Individuals who have this mental illness may lose interest in activities they used to enjoy. They may have difficulty functioning at home or work, losing the motivation to perform everyday tasks.

Childhood major depressive disorder affects children and adolescents. Young people who suffer from depression may develop this mental illness as a result of suffering from chronic or severe medical conditions. Having immediate family members who suffer from depression is also one of the main risk factors for developing adolescent depression.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Many children and adolescents face depression and related conditions without understanding the underlying causes or how to cope with them in a healthy way. Some may not even realize they are depressed. Others may withdraw socially, lose motivation in school, or act out. Some of the most common physical, emotional, and behavioral signs of adolescent depression include:

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Weight gain
  • Depressed mood
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Persistent feelings of sadness
  • An inability to feel happiness
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, or shame
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Social isolation or avoidance of regular activities
  • Abrupt changes in behavior or performance in school

Children and adolescents who are struggling with severe depression may also run away from home or talk about doing so. They may begin to exhibit a lack of interest in activities they once found fun and enjoyable. Other depressive symptoms in children and adolescents who suffer from severe depression might involve changes in sleep patterns (sleeping more or less than usual), social withdrawal, and problems with concentration.

Adolescent and childhood depression may also lead to appetite and weight shifts. (Significant weight loss or weight gain may occur as a result of major depression.) In some severe cases of depression, suicidal ideation, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts may occur. It is important to take suicidal ideation and other warning signs seriously to prevent self-harm or suicide.

Types of Depression and How to Address Them

Depression occurs in many different forms. When teens and young adults try to face their depression alone, they often simply want to feel better and will try to distract themselves with activities or feelings they enjoy. This may help in the moment, but it does nothing to uproot the real causes of the condition.

It can also worsen matters if the coping mechanisms they choose are destructive. Treating adolescent depression effectively means understanding the kind of depression your teen faces, as well as its root causes.

Major Depressive Disorder

This is a condition where episodes of low moods, restlessness, and related physical symptoms occur regularly. Treatment for this mental illness depends on the severity of the depressive symptoms. But, treatment typically combines depression-oriented psychotherapy with appropriate medications.

Electroconvulsive therapy, where medical professionals attach small electrodes to stimulate the brain while patients are under anesthesia, has also proven helpful in treating depression that is resistant to common treatments. The goal is to reduce depressive episodes into “remission” – defined as 3 weeks without sad mood and reduced interest in activities, in addition to a reduction in other symptoms.

Persistent Depressive Disorder

Previously referred to as dysthymic disorder, PDDis characterized by depressive symptoms that persist over a year or longer in teens. Symptoms can be less severe than the symptoms of major depressive disorder, but occur over a longer period. PDD is treated similarly to MDD with tools like cognitive and interpersonal therapy, appropriate medication, and lifestyle changes.

Bipolar Disorder

Teen and adolescent bipolar disorder is characterized by periods of energetic, emotional highs—known as mania or manic episodes—along with mood swings to emotional lows, known as depressive episodes. Bipolar disorder is technically distinct from depression, although depressive episodes experienced can show many similar symptoms to MDD and PDD.

Medical Treatment for Adolescent Depression

In many cases, medical professionals will help depressed adolescents and teens with medication treatment, prescribing antidepressant medications. This can certainly be helpful for treating depressive disorders. Chronic depression may be difficult to address without the help of antidepressant medication.

However, it is important to seek the help of a mental health professional when depression is present. While medications can help reduce depressive symptoms, they do not address the underlying issues. Sometimes, treating adolescent and teen depression with medication can actually lead to substance abuse, as individuals may become dependent on their prescription drugs.

To treat depression properly, we must also consider the behavioral component and mental impact of the disorders. Omitting this approach can end up worsening depression and preventing progress. This is why therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, and other interpersonal psychotherapy approaches are necessary to treat young adult and teen depression.

Teen and Adolescent Depression Treatment at Innercept

Innercept’s caring team of mental health professionals can help teens identify the kinds of depression they are facing and develop healthy coping strategies to manage difficult emotions. From stabilizing mood swings to reworking negative self-beliefs and limiting thought patterns, Innercept helps teens with depressive and mood disorders build emotional skills for stability and growth.

Depression is a complicated group of mental illnesses, with each case presenting differently. Understanding these causes and learning what solutions a particular teen or young adult responds to is crucial for effective treatment. So is building healthy lifestyle habits into treatment that assists in the physical, mental, and social elements of depression. Innercept’s integral approach to treatment includes all of these treatment modalities so teens can have a whole-person plan for tackling this difficult condition.

Our Approach to Depression Treatment

Through consultations and in-depth discussions with staff, family, and the teens and young adults we work with, we learn what each client’s mental health history looks like in detail. This understanding is the foundation for our individualized treatment plans to help clients tackle depression and related conditions.

When we understand how depression impacts a client’s life, from their relationships with others to their self-image and emotional health, we can build a plan that meets their struggles with targeted strategies.

Personalized Therapeutic Support for Depression

Here at Innercept, we understand that therapeutic approaches are necessary when it comes to mental health treatment. Approaches such as interpersonal therapy and holistic therapy can be incredibly effective in treating depressive symptoms. This is why we offer various types of therapy for mental disorders, including the following:

  • Family therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Mood regulation
  • Art therapy

We also help our clients develop healthy habits and coping skills, improve values and morals, and set achievable recovery goals.

During therapy sessions, we build trust and grow our understanding of our client’s challenges with depression. We provide a safe, respectful environment where the young people in our care can discuss how depression impacts their lives. Here, our clients can develop the tools they need to manage the symptoms of their mental health challenges.

A Whole-Person Approach for Teen Depression Treatment

Innercept’s integral approach doesn’t just treat teen depression with only cognitive behavioral therapy or any other interpersonal psychotherapy. In addition to medication management, we lay the foundation for health across all areas of life, with life skills training in helpful areas like healthy cooking to the development of regular exercise programs.

We engage clients and encourage them to build values and a sense of meaning with volunteering opportunities throughout the community. We also introduce them to new hobbies, like horticulture and art therapy, that let them see the results of their work and dedication firsthand and lead them down exciting new paths for growth.

This multi-pronged approach to mental health treatment ensures that clients can tackle their depression from multiple angles to grow into a greater sense of well-being and confidence.

Contact Innercept Today

Located in Idaho, our residential facility for mental health offers interpersonal treatments and individual therapeutic approaches. We understand that adolescent and teen depression can be difficult to address. Depression can confuse both the adolescent and their family members. But, we are here to bring clarity and healing to those who come to us for help.

Here at Innercept, we offer comprehensive treatment for adolescent and teen depression. Through clinical assessments and screenings, we can determine the best treatment approach for your child. A mental health professional on our team will work with you and your family to make sure your child receives the best care.

Please reach out to us today. Together, we will help the teen or young adult in your life overcome depression.

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