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Treating Depression in Teens

a depressed teen wanders aimlessly and alone deep in negative thought patterns

The vast majority of today’s teenagers feel significantly down or sad from time to time. That’s no surprise, given the daily pressures of modern adolescence. However, some teens don’t just experience occasional feelings of depression. Instead, they experience ongoing feelings that disrupt their ability to function. If this happens to your child, an effective depression treatment program is a top priority. With professional support, most teenagers recover from depression and develop a renewed sense of well-being. Reach out to Imagine Spokane today at 509.870.3810 to learn more about our depression treatment program for teens.

What Is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder. All disorders of this type produce negative changes in your teen’s typical emotional state. In turn, these changes interfere with your child’s ability to function in daily life. The specific mood alterations that define depression include:

  • Recurring or constant feelings of sadness
  • Additional damaging emotions, such as guilt and hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in once-favored activities
  • Altered sleep patterns
  • Notable changes in appetite and/or weight levels
  • Unusual irritability or restlessness
  • A reduced ability to make decisions or think clearly

A depressed teen or adult may also frequently think about death or suicide. In addition, they may feel fatigued or experience a range of other physical symptoms.

Types of Depression Disorders

There is more than one type of depression disorder. Most teenagers and adults have major depression. This is the most severe depressive illness, and it typically produces prominent symptoms.

Instead of major depression, some teens and adults develop persistent depressive disorder or PDD. This disorder isn’t as severe as major depression. However, bouts of its symptoms last for much longer periods of time. PDD treatment is just as important as major depression treatment.

Medication for Depression in Teens

Antidepressant medications called SSRIs are often used to help teens affected by depression. Two SSRIs have been specifically approved for teenagers. The first of these medications is escitalopram (Lexapro). The second is fluoxetine (Prozac).

Most teenagers can safely take Lexapro or Prozac. However, a very small percentage of teens who take one of these medications experience worsening depression symptoms. In some cases, these symptoms include suicidal thoughts and behavior. Precautions must be taken to prevent these kinds of outcomes. Still, as a whole, the potential risks of SSRIs for teen depression are substantially outweighed by their treatment benefits. If necessary, your teen may receive another antidepressant option.

Therapy for Teen Depression

Psychotherapy is also used to treat depression in teens. Today, the main therapy option is usually cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT helps your teen:

  • Identify damaging patterns of thought, emotional response, and behavior
  • Change these patterns in ways that promote improved well-being
  • Cope with potential depression triggers in everyday life

Another option for teen depression is interpersonal therapy (IPT). This therapy focuses on the ways your child socializes and communicates with others. It promotes changes that bring improvements in these areas. In turn, those changes can help ease the impact of depression.

Therapy for teens may be conducted one-on-one or in group sessions. Many teenagers also benefit from family therapy for depression. This option focuses on family issues that may be triggering or reinforcing your child’s depression symptoms.

Learn More About Treating Depression in Teens at Imagine Spokane

Have questions about the best ways to treat teen depression? Contact the professionals at Imagine Spokane. We have the answers you need to understand the available treatment options. We can also help you determine which options might be suitable for your teenager.

Imagine Spokane features comprehensive depression treatment for teens. With our help, your child can make real strides toward recovery and restoring wellness. For more information, call us today at 509.870.3810. You can also reach us through our brief online message form.