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Depression in Teenagers, Counseling Services Available in Broken Arrow for Tulsa County Residents

By Alina Morrow, LPC

Disclaimer: The article below is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as direct advice, a personal diagnosis, or as an individual treatment plan. Always consult with a mental health professional or medical doctor if you have concerns.

Introduction and Overview

Depression is a serious problem that affects teenagers by negatively impacting their life if not diagnosed and treated properly. Statistics show that 1 in 8 adolescents may be suffering from depression. Unfortunately, 30 percent of those that experience the mental and emotional turmoil caused by depression are not properly treated.

Depression is difficult to diagnose in teenagers due to their up and down mood swings common for this age group. In teenagers, moods and feelings can alternate between periods where life is perceived as either great - or awful. However, these periods are short lasting for a few hours or a few days. True depression is characterized by long-lasting symptoms that persist over a 2 weeks period.

Symptoms

The main symptoms of teen depression include the following:

  • Sadness or hopelessness
  • Irritability, anger, rage, hostility, and frustration
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and anxiety
  • Extremely sensitivity to criticism
  • Tearfulness or frequent crying
  • Social withdrawal and isolation (from friends and family)
  • Lack of enthusiasm and energy
  • Decreased motivation or desire to be involved in different activities (sports, hobbies)
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Rebellious, destructive or promiscuous behaviors
  • Unexplained pains or aches
  • Sloppy or neglected appearance
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.

Causes, Triggers and Risk Factors:

Depression can be triggered by different events, such as:

Pressure associated with puberty’s psychological aspects (teens are trying to figure out their own identity, who they are and where they fit) as well as physical aspects (caused by the influence of sex hormones).

Parental conflicts and the need for independence associated with the natural transition between the childhood and adulthood.

Disturbing events such as the death of a close friend or relative, and break-ups with a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Every teenager can be at risk to develop depression, but there are certain groups of adolescents that are more prone to depression. The main risk factors for depression among teenagers include:

Gender: Females are almost twice more vulnerable to depression than males.

Long-term or chronic illnesses: Adolescents that suffer from long-term or chronic illnesses have an increased risk to develop depression.

Family history of depression.

Dysfunctional or disrupted family environment: Abused or neglected teenagers, problems caused by divorce, death in family.

If left undiagnosed and not treated, depression can have a devastating and negative impact on every aspect of the teenager's life which can lead to unwanted baggage that is carried on into adulthood. Unfortunately,the effects of depression can go beyond melancholy and sad moods and lead to the more negative consquence which include:

School problems: Depression causes a decreased level of energy, decreased interest and motivation in school related activities. The adolescent might skip school, get bad grades, and refuse to complete homework.

Drug and alcohol abuse: Some teens might use drugs or alcohol to cope with the problems and stress they experience. However, these attempts can become more serious, because an increased amount of drugs or alcohol over a long period of time can lead to addiction. Teen drug abuse should be addressed with care, compassion, and a sense of urgency

Running away from home: Many teens choose to run away from home or talk about doing it as an attempt of solving the distress. Usually, this is a cry sign for help.

Low self-esteem problems: Many teenagers suffer from feelings of ugliness or unworthiness. Unfortunately, depression can increase or intensify these feelings.

Eating disorders: Depression can cause a series of eating disorders such as: bulimia, anorexia, binge eating, and yo-yo diets expecially amount the girls.

Self-injure: Depression can cause cutting, burning, and other kinds of self-mutilation problems.

Promiscuous behavior: Teenagers that suffer from depression might engage in sexual activities or have sexual intercourse with multiple partners.

Aggressive behavior: This type of behavior is more common among males, but there are cases when girls also become aggressive.

Suicide: Suicide is a very serious problem in teenagers, and is one of the leading causes of death among adolescents.

Suicide

Unfortunately, it is estimated that approximately 500,000 teenagers try to commit suicide every year and almost 5,000 actually succeed. Depressed teenagers are more likely to attempt suicide.

Signs of suicidal plans include:

  • Talking or threatening to kill themselves.
  • Preparing for death by giving away favorite possessions, writing good-bye letters, or writing a will.
  • Talking about the future without hope.
  • An unhealthy fascination with death and the natural and/or accidental death of other living things.

Usually, a suicide attempt is an act of desperation when the teenager perceives his or hers problems as overwhelming and unbearable.

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Related Information:

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Are you suffering from depression? Contact Tulsa Therapist Alina Morrow, LPC, today to make an appointment and get the help and relief you deserve. You can reach me by texting or calling 918-403-8873 or by Email.

Page Last Modified: October 30, 2016

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