Adolescence is a time for learning, trying new things, making mistakes, and overall just trying to figure life out. But for most, adolescence can also be a time of vulnerability. Not only do teens go through severe biological changes, they also have to deal with making new friends, losing best friends, rumors, and bullying. Whether it’s due to biological or environmental changes, adolescents can become susceptible to depression. 11% of adolescents are recorded to have some sort of depressive disorder before they are 18. This may seem minor compared to the 350,000,000 people around the world who are affected by some form of depression, but if adolescent depression is not treated, it can lead to reoccurring depression in adulthood.
Adolescence is a critical time to treat depression so development is not negatively impacted. Even if an adolescent isn’t clinically depressed, they could still be showing symptoms of depression and anxiety. More than half of teens report feeling depressed moods, so it’s important for them to have a safe and comfortable environment that allows them to learn healthy coping mechanisms.
There are many opportunities for adolescents to receive help for their depression. The main source of treatment is psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is when a psychologist uses scientifically proven strategies to help people effectively work through their issues and feelings.The psychologist works towards finding the root of the problems, whether it may be a childhood trauma, another sort of traumatic situation, environmental factors, or biological factors. There are also many different forms of counseling, including individual counseling, online counseling, and family and group therapy, so there’s many opportunities to find the right kind of therapy. Medication is also sometimes used in hand with therapy to balance neurotransmitters in the brain that impact emotions and mood.
If therapy doesn’t seem like a good fit, there are other ways to fight depression. One of these methods is simply finding a healthy and safe outlet for expressing emotions. Whether this is listening to music, writing, drawing, or exercising, there are many ways to express emotions instead of keeping them bottled up. Another coping method is leaning on friends and family. This in itself is similar to therapy but it can be less intimidating – and free!
So whether it’s therapy, medication, or another form of coping method, it’s important to ensure adolescents have access to some sort of help for depression. If they don’t get help young, they could develop serious issues that will impact them throughout adulthood.