When kids are young, parents are used to swooping in and rescuing them whenever they need help. As your kids get older and their problems become more complex, you have to transition into more of a supporting role, and that can be difficult. This is especially true with teens who are struggling with depression. They need help to get better, but first, they have to want that help. But “what is the leading cause of depression in teenage?” In this article, we will know about it briefly.
Depression is a common disease worldwide, affecting more than 264 million people. Depression is different from the usual mood swings and short-lived emotional responses to the challenges of daily life.
Especially when the depression lasts for a long time and the intensity is moderate or severe, depression can become a serious health problem. It will cause the affected people to suffer a lot of pain and breakdown at work, school, and family. In the worst case, depression can lead to suicide which is now increasing day by day.
Approximately 800,000 people die by suicide each year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenage people and aged 15-29 people. Although there are known and effective treatments for mental disorders, in low- and middle-income countries, 76% to 85% of people are not receiving treatment.
Barriers to effective care include lack of trained healthcare providers, lack of resources, and social stigma associated with mental disorders. Another obstacle to effective care is inaccurate assessment. In countries of all income levels, people with depression are often misdiagnosed, while others without the disease are often misdiagnosed and prescribed antidepressants.
Globally, the burden of depression and other mental health conditions is increasing. The World Health Assembly resolution passed in May 2013 called for a comprehensive and coordinated response to mental disorders at the national level.
What is Depression?
Depression is classified as a mood disorder. It is often described as a sense of sadness, loss, or anger that interferes with an individual’s daily activities. This is also very common.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that in a given two-week period from 2013 to 2016, 8.1% of U.S. adults aged 20 or over suffered from depression.
They experience depression in different ways. It interferes with your daily work, thus wasting time and reducing productivity. It can also affect interpersonal relationships and some chronic health conditions.
Conditions that may be exacerbated by depression include arthritis, malaria, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. It is important to realize that depression is sometimes a normal part of life. Sad and uneasy things happen to everyone.
However, if you regularly feel depressed or desperate, then you’ll be handling depression. Depression is considered a serious disease, and it can get worse without proper treatment. People seeking treatment will usually see improvement in their symptoms in just a few weeks.
What is Teen Depression?
Depression in adults and teens is mostly the same. But for clearance, you have to understand the difference between Teen depression and adult depression also!
Teen depression is a serious mental health problem that can cause persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities. It affects the way your teenager thinks, feels, and behaves, and can cause emotional, functional, and physical problems.
Although depression can occur at any time in life, the symptoms of adolescents and adults can be different. Peer pressure, academic expectations, and physical changes can bring many ups and downs to young people. But for some teenagers, casualties are not just temporary feelings, they are a symptom of depression.
Teenage depression is not a weakness, nor is it something that can be overcome with willpower; it has serious consequences and requires long-term treatment. For most adolescents, the symptoms of depression can be relieved by treatment such as medication and counseling.
Symptoms of Teen Depression
The signs and symptoms of adolescent depression include changes in adolescents’ previous attitudes and behaviors, which may cause serious pain and problems in school or at home, social activities, or other areas of life. Your child’s emotions and behavior may include the following examples.
- Feelings of sadness, which may include crying for no reason
- Frustration or anger, even small things
- Annoyed or irritable mood
- Feeling hopeless or empty
- Low self-esteem
- Loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Loss of interest or conflict with family and friends
- Extremely sensitive to rejection or failure and requires excessive comfort
- Difficulties in thinking, focusing, decision-making, and memory
- Obsessed with past failures or exaggerated self-criticism or self-criticism
- Constantly feeling that life and the future are bleak and gloomy
- Frequent thoughts of dying, death, or suicide
- Insomnia or excessive sleep
- Slow thinking, speech, or body movements
- Tiredness and lack of energy
- Appetite changes: decreased appetite and weight loss, or increased cravings for food and weight gain
- Use of alcohol or drugs
- Irritability or irritability, such as pacing, twisting or being unable to remain still
- Social withdrawal
- Frequent complaints of unexplained body pain and headaches, which may include frequent visits to school nurses
- Not paying attention to individuals Hygiene or appearance
- Poor school performance or frequent absences from school
- Outbreaks of anger, destructive or risk-taking behavior, or other aggressive behavior
- Self-harm: for example, excessive cutting, burning or piercing, or tattoos
- Making suicide plans or attempting suicide
What is the leading cause of depression in teenage? One of the main reasons is the chemical imbalance in the brain. Many other factors can also cause depression, such as low self-esteem and stressful life events, and many more. If left untreated, adolescent depression may become an adult depression or major depressive disorder.
Here are the most leading cause of depression in teenage and some advice on how to overcome teen depression.
- Difference in the Brain
- Traumatic Early Life Events
- Changes in Eating Habits or Weight
- Extreme Sadness in Teen
- Changes in Both Activity and Sleep Patterns
- Low self-Esteem
- Changes in Mood or Behavior
- Withdrawal and Isolation
- Physical Pain
Here we will go for the details of the leading causes of depression in teenage.
The difference in the Brain
Studies have shown that the adolescent brain is structurally different from the adult brain. Teenagers with depression may also have hormonal differences and different levels of neurotransmitters.
Neurotransmitters are key chemicals in the brain that affect the way brain cells communicate with each other. They play an important role in regulating emotions and behavior.
According to existing research, the neurotransmitters that are important to our understanding of depression are serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Low levels of these neurotransmitters can cause depression. For why this is one of them is the most leading causes of depression in teenage.
Traumatic Early Life Events
There is a broad consensus that childhood trauma is closely related to the development of depression. Clinical and investigative studies generally show that the prevalence of childhood trauma in mental disorders is significantly higher, emphasizing the non-specific trauma experience as a risk factor that is vulnerable to different forms of psychopathology.
However, multiple cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have confirmed the relationship between childhood trauma and increased risk of depression in adulthood.
Changes in Eating Habits or Weight
According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, teenagers with depression are more likely to be obese or overweight. If you gain weight, it may be a sign of depression. Changes in eating habits are another sign of depression in adolescents.
If you notice a change in your weight or eating habits, it may be time to seek professional help. Talk to a counselor or therapist. Opening up to strangers can be difficult, but it will help you in the end.
A mental health professional will allow you to express yourself freely without making judgments. A professional therapist or counselor can also help you get the support you need to prevent yourself from being underweight or overweight.
Extreme Sadness in Teen
An important sign of depression in adolescents is extreme sadness, which can last for days or weeks. Teenagers with depression may have suicidal thoughts. They can talk about injury or suicide. When these feelings have not disappeared, including feelings of helplessness and worthlessness, this may indicate that you are depressed.
Most teenagers do not seek help, so it is difficult to recover from depression. If you see signs of depression, try to talk about it with an adult. In this case, talking to your friends is not always enough.
Talk to older people you can trust, such as parents, mentors, teachers, or school counselors, who can provide you with resources for youth mental health. Since depression is a serious mental health disorder, it is important to seek some kind of treatment.
Changes in Both Activity and Sleep Patterns
Depressed teenagers may experience disturbances in their sleep patterns. Some people have insomnia and difficulty falling asleep, while others sleep more than usual. Changes in activity levels may also be an indicator of depression in adolescents.
Some teenagers may react more slowly and have lower activity levels than others. Others appear aggressive and physically agitated. Some teenagers may have nervous habits, such as biting their nails, walking nervously, or twisting their hands. Check your activity and sleep patterns carefully.
Finding yourself waking up at night and sleeping all day? There are many anxiety and depression support groups that can help you treat depression. Attend the meeting to hear the story. You must have to set a bedtime schedule and stick to it. Choose a time to go to bed and to wake up.
Keep all electronics away from the bedroom so that you can focus on sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, please record your thoughts in a diary or read a book to help you fall asleep.
Some teenagers with depression may have low self-esteem. They are never satisfied with their appearance. They spend most of their time preparing for morning school or other activities. Some teenagers need constant recognition or assurance from friends and other peers.
Teenagers with depression often have negative views of themselves and other things, so it is important to find out why they feel this way. If you notice these negative thinking patterns, then it’s time to cultivate healthy thinking patterns. Focus on the little things you are grateful for and the things you like to do. Even walking out of the house and meeting new people can boost your self-esteem.
Changes in Mood or Behavior
Some teenagers with depression abuse drugs and alcohol. Some people often fall into legal disputes or act promiscuously. Don’t treat these signs as normal teenage behavior.
You may also feel hopeless or have a negative attitude. You may feel discouraged, guilty, or worthless. He may become very moody and easily irritated. Those who suffer from adolescent depression have extreme changes in their temperament. There are many causes of depression in teenagers.
Some common causes include teenage physiology or hormones, childhood trauma, family history of mental illness, domestic violence, or social isolation. If you have experienced one or more of these underlying depressions, it is time to seek professional help.
Withdrawal and Isolation
Teenagers with depression tend to stay away from friends and family. They are not interested in past hobbies and interests. Look for any changes in his behavior, such as isolation and disinterest in activities he once enjoyed.
If you no longer want to participate in social activities or after school, then this may be a sign of teenage depression. It’s time to relearn what you once liked to do. People feel good when they help others.
Walk the neighbor’s dog or help your parents set the table. Even these small activities can help you feel good about yourself.
Other signs of depression in adolescents include body pain with no clear cause or diagnosis. Some of these symptoms include headaches, stomach pains, and severe pains in other parts of the body.
You may complain that you are so tired that you no longer have the energy to do the activities you once enjoyed. You may also have crying spells frequently and randomly. If you find that you have physical pain, you should make an appointment with your GP to make sure that your health is not problematic.
If there is no clear reason, it is time to make an appointment with a counselor or therapist. Many adolescents with clinical depression feel better after receiving help and find that they can better control their symptoms.
It has been found that depression is inherited in the family, and depression has a genetic basis. However, please remember that adolescents with depression in the family may not suffer from this disease, and adolescents with no history of depression in the family may still suffer from this disease.
What are Types of Teen Depression?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, there are two common forms of depression in adolescents: a) major depressive disorder And b) Dysthymic disorder (now called persistent depressive disorder).
Major depressive disorder: It is also known as major depression, it is characterized by symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy previously pleasurable activities. Major depression is a disability and prevents a person from functioning normally. An episode of major depression can only occur once in a person’s life, but more commonly, it will recur in the entire person’s life.
Dysthymic disorder: It is also known as dysthymia, it is characterized by a long duration (two years or more) but less severe symptoms that may not incapacitate a person but may prevent a person from functioning normally or feeling good. People with dysthymia may also experience major depression one or more times in their lives.
What are the Risk Factors for Teen Depression?
Factors that can increase the risk of depression in adolescents include:
- Family crises, such as death or divorce
- Difficulty in adapting to society
- No social or emotional support
- Living in a violent family
- Being bullied
- Adolescents with chronic diseases
Teens who have difficulty adapting to society or lack a support system are at a particularly high risk of depression.
How Teen Depression is diagnosed?
There are no specific medical tests that can detect depression. Health professionals conduct interviews and psychological tests with adolescents, their families, teachers, and peers to determine whether adolescents are suffering from depression.
The severity of depression in adolescents and the risk of suicide were determined based on the assessment of these interviews. Treatment recommendations are also based on data collected from interviews.
Doctors will also look for signs of potential coexisting mental disorders, such as anxiety or substance abuse, or look for complex forms of depression, such as bipolar disorder (manic depression). Or mental illness.
The doctor will also assess the risk of suicidal or homicidal characteristics in adolescents. The incidence of attempted suicide and self-harm in women is higher than that of men, while the incidence of completed suicide in men is higher. The 18-24 age group is one of the most suicidal groups.
How Teen Depression is treated?
Depression is a complex disease, and no treatment is suitable for everyone. Teenagers with depression may benefit from psychotherapy, but they may also need drugs to help regulate theoretical chemical imbalances in the brain that experts believe cause depression. Treatment usually includes a combination of treatment and medication.
There are many different drugs available to treat depression, most of which are prescription antidepressants. Different antidepressants affect each person differently, so depressed teenagers may have to try several before they can find the one that works for them.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires many antidepressants to carry a black box warning, warning that young people aged 18 to 24 have an increased risk of suicide.
SSRIs are the most commonly used antidepressants. They are preferred because they tend to have fewer side effects. SSRIs act on the neurotransmitter serotonin. SSRIs prevent the body from absorbing serotonin, so they can be used in the brain more effectively.
Current approved SSRIs by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) are-
- Citalopram (Celexa)
- Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva)
- Vilazodone (Viibryd)
- Escitalopram (Lexapro)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac)
- Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
- Sertraline (Zoloft)
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Most SSRIs are only approved for use in adults. However, fluoxetine has been approved by the FDA for use in young people 8 years and older with MDD. Escitalopram has been approved by the FDA for use in young people with MDD who are at least 12 years old. But the therapist or doctor will help you to find the best medicine for your teen. So please visit your doctor before taking any kind of medicine.
Psychotherapy is usually very helpful and effective. As with medications, there are many different types of psychotherapy. Some of the examples are:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT focuses on changing negative thinking patterns and teaching individuals to recognize and cope with these negative thoughts.
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT): ITP focuses on teaching people to evaluate people interacting with others. So that they can improve their relationships with others.
Psychodynamic therapy: This type of therapy focuses on the individual’s unconscious processes and understanding of feelings from past experiences.
Other Treatment Options
There are more treatment options available which are-
Lifestyle changes: Some teenagers can get relief from exercise or healthy eating. For most people, a supportive community that does not stigmatize their disease will help.
Family counseling: Family counseling can help family member’s better to support adolescents and identify any family dynamics that may lead to depression.
Brain stimulation: Brain stimulation is a set of treatments, including electroconvulsive therapy, which stimulates the brain in an attempt to “restart” it. Doctors usually recommend this method only when other treatments have failed, so it is often not the first-line choice for teenagers with depression.
Psychological education: This form of education on mental health and mental illness works best when the whole family is studying together. Parents and caregivers are committed to understanding the mental health needs of young people.
Complementary medicine: some young people are good at yoga, Tai Chi, acupuncture, chiropractic, or massage. It is safer to combine these options with traditional depression treatments, rather than replace them.
When to See a Doctor?
If the signs and symptoms of depression persist, start to interfere with the life of adolescents, or worry about suicide or the safety of adolescents, please consult a doctor or mental health professional who has been trained in youth work.
Your child’s GP or pediatrician is a good starting point. Or your child’s school may recommend someone. The symptoms of depression may not get better on their own, and if left untreated, they may get worse or cause other problems. Depressed teenagers may be at risk of suicide, even if the symptoms and signs do not seem serious.
If you are a teenager and you think you may be suffering from depression, or your friend may be suffering from depression, don’t expect help. Talk to a healthcare provider, such as your doctor or school nurse. Share your concerns with parents, close friends, spiritual leaders, teachers, or people you trust.
What are the Warning signs for Teen Suicide?
Teenage suicide is a serious problem. Teenage suicide is the second leading cause of death among American teenagers and young people after accidents. It is estimated that 500,000 young people attempt suicide each year, and 5,000 of them succeed. These are epidemic numbers.
Family difficulties, loss of loved ones, or feelings of failure in school or relationships can lead to negative emotions and depression. Teenage depression often makes the problem seem overwhelming, and the associated pain is unbearable. Suicide is a desperate behavior, and teenage depression is often the main reason.
The warning signs of suicide in adolescent depression include:
- Expressing despair about the future
- Give up and speak as if no one cares
- Prepare for death, give up your favorite property, write a farewell letter or make a will
- Get started or abuse drugs or alcohol to help sleep or relieve mental pain
- Threats to suicide
If your teenager exhibits any of these behaviors, you should seek help from a mental health professional immediately. Or you can call the suicide helpline.
How to Prevent Teen Depression?
Researchers once thought it was impossible to prevent depression, but new research suggests different thoughts. However, doctors are not yet sure which specific strategies can prevent depression.
Certain protective factors can reduce the risk of depression. Parents and caregivers can create a supportive and abuse-free family environment because the absence of trauma and abuse seems to reduce the risk of depression.
On the other hand, if you teach your teen’s religious knowledge and strengthen their beliefs about god then they may overcome their depression. Holy books provide hope to the believers and hope reduces depression.
“And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent”[Quran 65:3]
In addition, access to timely and high-quality treatment can reduce the risk of relapse in adolescents with a history of depression.
How do Parents help Depressed Teen?
Depression is very harmful if left untreated, so don’t wait and wait for the disturbing symptoms to disappear. If you suspect that your child is suffering from depression, please raise your concerns in a loving and unbiased manner.
Even if you are not sure that depression is the problem, the problem behaviors and emotions you see are signs of problems that need to be resolved. Start a conversation and let your child know which specific symptoms of depression you have noticed and why they are worrying you.
Then ask your child to share what happened to him, and be ready and willing to really listen. Avoid asking too many questions (most teenagers don’t like to feel patronized or crowded), but make it clear that you are ready and willing to provide the support they need.
Encourage Social Connection
Depressed teenagers tend to stay away from their friends and activities they once enjoyed. But isolation will only make depression worse, so do your best to help your child reconnect.
Prioritize face-to-face time: set aside time each day to talk so that you can fully focus on your child and don’t get distracted or try to work from home. Simple face-to-face communication can play an important role in reducing depression in adolescents. Remember, Talking about your teen’s depression or feelings will not make the situation worse, but your support will have an impact on his/her recovery.
Fight against social isolation: Do your best to keep your child in touch with others. Encourage your child to go out with friends or invite friends. Participate in activities involving other families and give your child the opportunity to meet and connect with other children.
Get your teen involved: Suggest activities that require you to use your child’s interests and talents, such as sports, after-school clubs or art, dance, or music lessons. Although your child may lack motivation and interest at first, when he reintegrates into the world, he should start to feel better and regain enthusiasm.
Promote voluntary service: Doing things for others is a powerful antidepressant and self-esteem. Help your child find a career that interests him and gives him a sense of mission. Volunteering with them can also be a good combination experience.
Make Physical Health a Priority
Physical and mental health is inseparable. Depression is exacerbated by lack of activity, lack of sleep, and malnutrition. Unfortunately, teenagers are known for their unhealthy habits: staying up late, eating junk food, and spending hours on mobile phones and devices. But as a parent, you can combat these behaviors by establishing a healthy and supportive family environment.
Get your child moving: Exercise is absolutely essential for mental health, so no matter what you need, keep your child active? Ideally, teenagers should do at least one hour of physical exercise every day, but not necessarily boring or painful. Think outside the box: walking the dog, dancing, shooting, hiking, biking, skateboarding; this is beneficial whenever they are on the road.
Limit screen time: Teens often go online to avoid trouble. But when screen time increases, physical activity and time in front of friends decreases. Both are ways to make symptoms worse.
Provide a well-balanced diet: Make sure that your teen gets the nutrients needed for optimal brain health and emotional support-such as healthy fats, high-quality protein, and fresh produce. Eating a lot of sugary and starchy foods makes many depressed teenagers “wake up” quickly, which will only have a negative impact on their mood and energy.
Encourage adequate sleep: Teens need more sleep than adults to perform optimally, up to 9-10 hours per night. Make sure your child does not stay up late at the expense of much-needed rest to support his mood.
Support your teen through depression treatment
When your depressed teenager is receiving treatment, the most important thing you can do is to let him know that you are there to listen and provide support. Now, more than ever, your child needs to know that he is valued, accepted, and cared for.
Understanding: Living with depressed teenagers can be difficult and exhausting. Sometimes, you may feel tired, rejected, hopeless, deteriorating, or any other negative emotions. During this test, it is important to remember that your child is not deliberately making things difficult. Your child is hurting, so please do your best to be patient and understanding.
Continue to participate in treatment: make sure your teen follows all treatment instructions, regardless of whether he or she is receiving treatment or taking any prescription medications correctly. Keep track of changes in your teen’s condition and call your doctor if the symptoms of depression seem to be getting worse.
Be patient: Your depressed teenager’s journey to recovery may be bumpy, so be patient. Rejoice for small victories and prepare for occasional setbacks. Most importantly, you do not judge yourself or compare your family with others. As long as you do everything you can to help your youth get the help they need, they are doing their job.
Take Care of Yourself and also your Family
As a parent, you may find that you concentrate all your energy and attention on the depressed teenager, ignoring the needs of yourself and other family members. However, it is very important to continue to take care of yourself during this difficult time, and most importantly, it means seeking much-needed support. You cannot do everything alone, so please seek help from family and friends. Having your own support system will help you stay healthy and active as you work to help young people.
Don’t suppress your emotions: It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, depressed, helpless, or angry. Contact a friend, join a support group, or consult your own therapist. Talking about your feelings will help calm tension.
Take care of your health: The stress of teenage depression can also affect your own mood, so please take care of your health and well-being by eating right, getting enough sleep, and making time for the things you love. Stay open with your family: Don’t tiptoe on the topic of teenage depression in order to “protect” other children. The children know when something goes wrong. When kept in the dark, their imagination tends to draw worse conclusions. Be open to what is happening and invite your child to ask questions and share their feelings.
Remember the siblings: your child’s depression can bring stress or anxiety to other family members, so be sure not to ignore “healthy” children. Siblings may need special personal attention or their own professional help to manage their feelings about the situation.
Avoid the blame game: It may be easy to blame adolescent depression on themselves or other family members, but this will only increase the already very nervous. In addition, depression is usually caused by a variety of factors, so a loved one is unlikely to be “responsible” except in cases of abuse or neglect.
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