Depression is characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, isolation and lack of worthiness. Earlier, depression was considered affecting only adults. However, recent studies have revealed that depression and anxiety among teens is equally prevalent as the adults.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in three adolescent children aged 12-18 years, which estimates around 3.2 million people, experiences major depressive episodes and symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. This raises a big concern over psychological health of teens comprising 13% of the population in the United States. There is also a surge in suicidal rates and self-harm among teenagers in the country.
Why is there an uptick in anxiety and depression among teens and how do we deal with it?
We live in a society which is fiercely competitive and our children constantly face prejudice due to this “achievement” culture. Teenagers are always in a state of pressure to rise up to the societal standards, be it academics, employment or meeting expectations from parents. The undue comparison in the society has contributed to their depression and anxiety.
Another factor that has compounded mental health disorder among teenagers is social media. Children and young adults keep comparing their lives with others on social media. They are enamored by the ostensible display by people on social media platforms and start brooding over their lack of achievements.
There are also many other reasons responsible for Teen anxiety and depression such as:
- Family history of anxiety and depression
- Teenagers exposed to any traumatic experience such as sexual abuse, violence, accidents, toxic family environment or living with addicted parents
- Teenagers living in adverse situations such as destitution, getting bullied at school or college, learning disability, physical disability or struggling to adjust to a different culture or place Change in brain chemistry or hormonal imbalance or changes during puberty
- Getting into bad company and indulging in substance abuse
- Negative emotions, thought pattern in teenagers due to parents’ expectations, social media or stress at the place of education can also compound stress
The symptoms of anxiety and depression are different in teenagers than adults
Recognizing symptoms of depression and anxiety in teenagers can be daunting for parents and caregivers because it is often mistaken as behavioral change or resistance in them. Symptoms lasting for weeks or months are a red flag for parents.
The symptoms for teen anxiety and depression include:
- Engaging in self-harm such as making skin incision or burning the skin
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Low energy level
- Lack of focus
- Lack of interest in sports, hobbies or any activity which the child used to like earlier
- Self isolation and avoiding social activities
- Obsession with dieting
- Exercising excessively
- Getting addicted to substance abuse
- Living in despair and hopelessness
- Experiencing panic and anxiety
- Harboring suicidal thoughts
- Indulging in destructive behavior, may be alone or with friends
Coping Methods and Treatment for Teen Anxiety and depression
Some of the available treatments for teen anxiety and depression include medication along with talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and habit reversal therapy.
Seeking treatment on time is important to recover from depression and anxiety but along with treatment, learning some coping skills can also alleviate symptoms.
The coping skills include:
- Interacting with family and friends.
- Exercising and practicing relaxation techniques.
- Practicing mindfulness
- Regularizing sleep pattern
- Maintaining daily schedule
- Breaking larger task into smaller ones
- Eating healthy diet
- Talking to support groups etc.
How We Can Help?
If you or your loved one is battling with anxiety, depression or any other mental disorder, we are here to help. Seek professional advice immediately once you witness any behavior in your loved ones that are telltale signs of depression or anxiety. Seeking early intervention will always make recovery easy and long-term.
Medical concierge is one of the best mental health recovery centers in California. We offer outpatient care, mental health inpatient treatment, evidence based therapies and continuum care to ensure 100 percent recovery. Call us Today at our 24/4 toll free number 877-6360-042 or chat with our online representative to know more about our treatment plans in detail.