Adolescent depression is a very serious problem many teens face. Adolescent depression is described as a mental health problem that causes feelings of sadness, loss of interest and poor self esteem (Teen Depression, n.d.). Some common behaviors seen in adolescent depression include feelings of sadness, feelings of hopelessness, irritability, frustration, low self esteem or a pre-occupation with death (Teen Depression, n.d.). Common things to be alert for are poor school performance, withdrawal from friends and/or family, changes in sleep and eating habits, social isolation, drug and alcohol abuse issues, self-neglect, body aches or having a suicide plan in place. Contributing factors may include biological chemistry, hormones, inherited traits, early childhood trauma or learned negative thinking (Teen Depression, n.d.). Depression can be a result of bullying at school, sexual, emotional or physical abuse at home or school, a medical condition, stressful life events, chosen sexuality or having a physical disability (Teen Depression, n.d.).
A primary method of depression prevention would be a program that offers sessions or meetings to teens that are at risk for developing depression such as a school program or teen youth program. A secondary method of depression prevention would be treating the teen for depression to try to correct the underlying depression. A tertiary method of treating depression would be attending meetings with counselors that help teens cope with depression and teach them skills that can help them overcome and manage the depression.
Some interventions that could help a teen that has symptoms of depression are talking to your patient and screen for depression, allow the teen to talk while actively listening, encouraging the teen to talk about his or her feelings, provide guidance and encourage positivity and hope, offer coping idea’s that may interest the teen, offer resources that are easily assessable to the teen and point out the strengths that the teen has, to shift the focus from negative to positive.
https://www.omh.ny.gov – NYS office of Mental Health offers a 28-page booklet listing signs and symptoms of depression, resources and treatment options. They offer helpful numbers and offer literature in languages other than English (New York State Resource)
http://www.saratogacff.org/mental-health-services/ – Saratoga Center for the Family is a community resource that offers individual and group counseling for children, families and adults at our agency office in Saratoga Springs and through our Student Empowerment Services at Shenendehowa Central Schools and South Glens Falls Schools (Community Resource)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) (National Resource)
Teen Depression. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2018, from https://www.mayoclinic.org