Teen Depression a Guide for Parents and Teachers Teenage Depression Isn’t Just Bad Moods and Occasional Melancholy. Depression Is a Serious Problem That Impacts Every Aspect of a Teen’s Life. Left Untreated, Teen

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Teen Depression
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A GUIDE FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS
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Teenage depression isn’t just bad moods and occasional melancholy. Depression is a serious problem that impacts every aspect of a teen’s life. Left untreated, teen depression can lead to problems at home and school, drug abuse, self-loathing—even irreversible tragedy such as homicidal violence or suicide. Fortunately, teenage depression can be treated, and as a concerned parent, teacher, or friend, there are many things you can do to help. You can start by learning the symptoms of depression and expressing concern when you spot warning signs. Talking about the problem and offering support can go a long way toward getting your teenager back on track. -------------------------------------------------

Understanding teen depression
There are as many misconceptions about teen depression as there are about teenagers in general. Yes, the teen years are tough, but most teens balance the requisite angst with good friendships, success in school or outside activities, and the development of a strong sense of self. Occasional bad moods or acting out is to be expected, but depression is something different. Depression can destroy the very essence of a teenager’s personality, causing an overwhelming sense of sadness, despair, or anger. Whether the incidence of teen depression is actually increasing, or we’re just becoming more aware of it, the fact is that depression strikes teenagers far more often than most people think. And although depression is highly treatable, experts say only 20% of depressed teens ever receive help. Unlike adults, who have the ability to seek assistance on their own, teenagers usually must rely on parents, teachers, or other caregivers to recognize their suffering and get them the treatment they need. So if you have an adolescent in your life, it’s important to learn what teen depression looks like and what to do if you spot the warning signs. -------------------------------------------------

Signs and symptoms of teen depression
Teenagers face a host of pressures, from the changes of puberty to questions about who they are and where they fit in. The natural transition from child to adult can also bring parental conflict as teens start to assert their independence. With all this drama, it isn’t always easy to differentiate between depression and normal teenage moodiness. Making things even more complicated, teens with depression do not necessarily appear sad, nor do they always withdraw from others. For some depressed teens, symptoms of irritability, aggression, and rage are more prominent

Cognitive problems
Giving teenagers with depression a feeling of control over their recovery may help the whole family make long-lasting strides. Research shows that cognitive behavioral therapy may help achieve positive outcomes for teens struggling with mood or personality disorders, and the technique is increasingly being utilized both in individual and group therapy sessions. Known as CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy represents a class of therapies for treating addictions and mental disorders, with each technique focused on the outcome of changing a person’s thoughts toward a behavior. When a shift in thought toward the addiction occurs, it creates a change in feelings and attitudes, regardless of outside forces the person cannot control. Robert Hahn, Ph.D., summarized the successes of CBT with adolescents in a report published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. Hahn, representing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that not only does CBT show positive results for adolescents with trauma-induced mental disorders, but the therapy may also lessen the chances that a teen will participate in harmful behaviors later in life. CBT is based on a set of defining principles: first, a person’s thinking leads to their actions and feelings, not outside elements. A person can choose...
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