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  • Writer's pictureAsia Hardin

The Effect of Depression in Adolescents

Adolescence is a critical time for brain and social development. This means that the presence of a mental disorder, such as depression, is primed to have severe and potentially lasting effects on a adolescent’s life.

Because of the rapid development of adolescence, mental health declines are relatively common in comparison to other developmental time periods.

At the same time, misdiagnosis during this period is also common, as perceived depressive symptoms can be confused with the mood swings, rumination, and boredom typical of adolescents. Parents, teachers, and other observers may see these behaviors, though, as simply transitory and not indicative of mental disorder.

Common symptoms of depression in Adolescents

  • Poor performance in school

  • Withdrawal from friends and activities

  • Sadness and hopelessness

  • Lack of enthusiasm, energy or motivation

  • Anger and rage

  • Overreaction to criticism

  • Feelings of being unable to satisfy ideals

  • Poor self-esteem or guilt

  • Indecision, lack of concentration or forgetfulness

  • Restlessness and agitation

  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns

Treating Adolescent Depression

Cognitive behavioral therapy has been proven an effective modality for addressing depression in adolescents, but studies also indicate that child-centered therapy may not be as beneficial as family-based interventions.

The effectiveness of family involvement within therapy has shown to improve the family environment while equipping individuals within the family to address issues like depression.

Of course there are many other forms of psychotherapy that may also be useful in addressing depressive symptoms. These in combination with medication, such as antidepressants, are thought to be one of the most effective ways to address depression.

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