article by Lili Cammett and Destiny Doucette
edited by Elizabeth Marston
Have you ever had a friend or family member that you think could be depressed or thinking about suicide? If you think so, read below.
Depression in teens is a very serious issue and should not be fooled around with. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, approximately one out of five adolescents has a diagnosable mental health disorder, and nearly one-third show symptoms of depression. Depression is identified as a “serious mental health problem that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities,” according to mayoclinic.org. A teen will not just stick out to you or to anyone also it isn’t easy to notice if a teen is depressed. The hardest part about noticing depression in adolescent teens is that many of the symptoms are recognized as normal teen behavior. This mental disorder affects how a teen will think, act, and feel on a daily basis. Even though it is normal for teenagers for occasionally be down in the dumps or upset, depression is a completely different story.
To be clear, there is no one cause for why people develop depression. There can be may factors to why it happens though. A variety of issues may be involved in the process of adolescent depression. Some of the causes that your teen may be depressed is that is he or she: biological chemistry, hormones, inherited traits, early childhood trauma and learning patterns of negative thinking. Also some symptoms that your child could be depressed are: irritability, poor performance in school, feelings of sadness that can lead to crying spells for no reason, social withdrawal or anger. As you can tell, these symptoms can be an emotional or behavioral change. However, just because someone displays these symptoms does not mean they are depressed. You should only be concerned if these occur over several weeks. According to mentalhealthamerica.net, depression in teens is increasing at an alarming rate. Not only is it hard for adults to recognize depression in teenagers, it may also be hard for a teen themselves to recognize their own symptoms because they don’t tend to express or understand their feelings very well.
A very important aspect to be familiar with and understand before or after a teen is diagnosed with depression are the suicide warning signs. First of all, if you or anyone you know, teenager or not, are thinking about hurting yourself or attempting suicide call 911 or your local emergency number right away. There is also a national suicide hotline (1-800-273-8255) if you need someone to talk to during hard times. The possibility of wanting to commit suicide is a serious issue no matter how severe a person’s depression is. Also, if you think your teen or anyone is thinking about suicide these are the signs yo watch out for: Talking about suicide, writing about suicide, giving away a lot of personal stuff, starting to do reckless stuff, romanticizing death, saying goodbye to family or friends(in person or online) and posting stuff on social media about wanted to commit suicide or death. There are many ways to help treat teen depression. “If depression symptoms continue or begin to interfere in your teens life, talk to a doctor or mental health professional trained to work with adolescents. Your teens family doctor or pediatrician is a good place to start. Or your teens school may recommend someone.” (mayoclinic.org). It’s likely that depression symptoms won’t just get better on their own. That is why seeking help is so important.
What are some treatments for depression?
Psychotherapy, this is a talk therapy which is a good initial treatment choice, it helps determine what kind of things you need to focus on to get better.
Group Therapy, for some teens group therapy works out better because they connect with others and learn they aren’t alone.
Medication, antidepressant drugs are typically just for major cases of depression, in order to be prescribed these drugs you need to be examined by a doctor to make sure they are necessary and beneficial for you.
Concluding that suicide and depression is nothing to mess around with, if you think a friend or not even a friend even someone you just know is thinking about suicide or is very depressed don’t just watch them fall down the hole get them help.