Depression is common in adolescence and may look different in adolescents from adults. Teens tend to be more irritable when they are depressed than when they are sad.
However, not all depressions are created equal. The word depression is used to describe various situations. There are four main types of depression that usually affect adolescents. Recognizing signs and symptoms may be the key to getting treatment for adolescents. Early intervention is usually the key to successful treatment.
1. The adjustment disorder of low mood
Adaptation barriers are reactions to life events. Moving to a new school, the death of a loved one, or dealing with a parent’s divorce are all examples of changes that can trigger adjustment barriers for adolescents.
The adjustment disorder begins within a few months after the event and can last as long as six months.If symptoms persist for more than six months, another diagnosis will be more appropriate.
Although short-lived in nature, adjustment disorders can interfere with sleep, academic, and social functions.
Your child may benefit from talk therapy by teaching them new skills or helping them cope with stressful situations.
2. Persistent depression (dysthymia)
Persistent depression (dysthymia) is a low-grade chronic depression that lasts more than a year. Adolescents with dysthymia are usually irritable. They may lack energy, have low self-esteem, and feel hopeless.
Their eating habits and sleep patterns may also be disturbed. Often, dysthymia interferes with attention and decision-making. It is estimated that approximately 11% of young people aged 13 to 18 have experienced dysthymia.
Although dysthymia is not as serious as major depression, it lasts too long and can have a serious impact on the lives of teenagers. It interferes with learning, socializing, and overall function. Dysthymia will also make young people more likely to suffer from other emotional disorders in later life. Cognitive behavioral therapy and drug therapy are usually very effective in treating dysthymia.
3. Bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder is characterized by depressive episodes, followed by mania or hypomania (a less severe form of mania). Both depression and manic states can last from a few weeks to a few months. Symptoms of mania include reduced sleep requirements, difficulty concentrating, and a bad temper.
During a manic episode, adolescents may speak quickly, feel very happy or silly, and are willing to engage in adventurous behaviors. Many adolescents engage in high-risk sexual behaviors during manic episodes.
The daily functions of adolescents with bipolar disorder may be severely impaired.
Their severe emotional changes can interfere with their education and friendship. Biphasic is treatable but not curable. Bipolar disorder is usually best treated with a combination of medications and treatments.
4. The Great Depression
Major depression is the most serious type of depression. According to data from the National Institute of Mental Health, it is estimated that 13% of 12 to 17-year-old adolescents experienced at least one major depression in 2017.
According to gender, young children have roughly the same rate of depression. However, after puberty, girls are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression.
Symptoms of major depression include persistent sadness and irritability, talking about suicide, lack of interest in pleasurable activities, and frequent reports of body aches and pains. Severe depression can cause serious obstacles to home and school. Treatment usually includes treatment and may include medication.
If you have suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to get support and help from trained counsellors. If you or someone you love is in immediate danger, call 911.
Unfortunately, many teenagers are not diagnosed and treated. Often, adults are not aware of the signs of depression in young people.
If you notice a change in your child’s mood or behavior that lasts more than two weeks, please make an appointment with your doctor.
Express your concerns and describe the symptoms you see. Show your children that you don’t think they are weak or crazy. Instead, discuss mental health issues like physical health issues.
Explain that emotional problems need to be cured like physical health problems. Sometimes the tests and treatment needed for depression are beyond what you can do at home.
Your child’s doctor may refer you to a psychotherapist or psychiatrist for further evaluation and treatment. Talk therapy, family therapy, group therapy, and medication may be treatment options. Treatment will be based on the type of depression in your teen and the severity of its symptoms.