Teens: Here Are Answers If You’re Concerned About Teen Depression – Part Two

Let’s say you read the first article, and you’re thinking you might need professional support. Some teens are afraid of getting mental health treatment because there’s a fear that you might get thrown into a psych ward. Chances are you won’t. A psychiatric hospital is for those who have severe mental illnesses that require 24-hour care. Nonetheless, the point here is getting the care you need so that you can live a happy and fulfilling life.


The following continues the list of questions started in the first article. They provide answers on treatment, medication, and therapy.


How is depression treated?


Research indicates that the combination of both medication and therapy is the best form of treatment. This can be particularly true for a teen. Psychotherapy can be the place to get the support you need. Going to a psychologist is none other than having a place to talk about your worries, concerns, aspirations, and hopes for the future. Meanwhile, that psychologist can help explain your diagnosis, how medication works, and facilitate an ongoing open dialogue as your treatment continues.


What are antidepressants?


To treat depression, you might be prescribed with an antidepressant. They affect your levels of norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine in the brain, which in turn influences how you feel and your overall mood. Although antidepressants are incredibly effective, they do come with risks. For teens in particular, it is essential to know that anti-depressants can cause suicidal thoughts and even attempts at suicide. This doesn’t mean to dismiss antidepressants as a treatment modality, because they are effective, but to keep this risk in mind when in a conversation with your psychiatrist or therapist.


Antidepressants are used to treat not only moderate to severe depression, but also other psychological disorders such as anxiety disorders, such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Antidepressants can also address the painful mood states that some with personality disorders experience.


How long do I need to take medication?


Likely you’ll take regular doses of medication for at least four to six weeks before you see any effects. After that you’ll continue to take them depending on the severity of your symptoms and the suggestion of your psychiatrist.


What is psychotherapy?


The most effective treatment for teen depression, as mentioned earlier, is not only medication, but also psychotherapy. Therapy is involves talking to a mental health professional to work towards making changes in thought, feeling, and behavior. There are various forms of therapy including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Family Focused Therapy (FFT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), Exposure Therapy (ET), and more. Of these, CBT is a common therapy used to treat depression.


How can I help myself if I am depressed?


If you’re already in treatment, it’s important to remember to give treatment a fair amount of time to take effect. You can help yourself by giving treatment a fair chance. Other ways you can help yourself is to regularly attend your therapy sessions, do the “homework” that your therapist recommends, exercise regularly, spend time with those you love, try to participate in activities you enjoy, and try to have a network of support around you.


If you’re not in treatment, find an adult to can provide initial support. Then, make an appointment with a mental health professional. If you’re concerned about payment or insurance, there are many mental health clinics that offer therapy and treatment for teen depression on a sliding scale basis.


What if I am experiencing suicidal thoughts or if someone I know is suicidal?


Depression is the leading cause of suicide. If untreated, teen depression can lead to having suicidal thoughts and possibly to the loss of life. If you’re feeling suicidal and an attempt at taking your life feels imminent, call 911. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on behalf of yourself or a friend at 1-800-273-8255. If you are in crisis, be sure you’re not alone! If a friend is in crisis, stay by his or her side until you get professional help.


The above questions and answers are meant to be useful and aid you in getting the mental health treatment you need. As mentioned above, if you feel you are depressed, calling upon the help of an adult is your first step. Don’t hesitate. Get the help you need today. Doing so can help save your life!