Depression and anxiety are unpleasant mental illnesses that are particularly difficult to cope with during adolescence. Unfortunately, teenage anxiety and depression are as common as it is difficult to treat. However, with a bit of reading, you can understand the basics of these complicated mental illnesses so you can more easily help your teenager through their problems.
There are many different potential causes of teenage anxiety and depression, and these symptoms can be hard to recognize. It’s important to identify them as early as possible however because this makes it easier to treat the disorders.
Causes of teenage depression and anxiety
There’s no known single cause for anxiety or depression, and your teenager’s mental health struggles could come from a combination of several potential sources.
- Brain chemistry – Your teen could suffer from abnormal brain chemistry that leads to anxiety and/or depression
- Hormones – Hormonal changes make puberty an upsetting time, and this can include hormonal imbalances that cause depression and/or anxiety.
- Genetics – Just like some physical illnesses, depression and anxiety are both known to run within families.
- Childhood trauma – Traumatic events that happen early in a child’s life can make them more prone to suffer from anxiety and/or depression later in their life.
How to help teenagers battling depression and anxiety
Because depression and anxiety still aren’t completely understood by medical science, there are no perfect ways to prevent or treat these mental illnesses. However, there are some things that you can do to help mitigate your teenager’s struggles.
If problems get severe, it’s best to seek medical and/or psychiatric help. Treatment for anxiety and depression can include but is not limited to practices such as talk therapy and medication. It can take time to find the right antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication, so it’s best to start treatment as soon as possible.
Some of the things you can do to help a teenager battling anxiety and/or depression are:
- Do what you can to help mitigate the stress that your child faces. Find ways to improve their self-esteem and make them more resilient, so that they are more capable of responding to life’s difficulties.
- During a crisis, reach out to help your teen find friendship and social support
- Don’t wait for things to get worse. Start trying to help your teenager as soon as you notice signs that they are struggling with anxiety and/or depression.
- Consider extended treatment. Even once the symptoms of anxiety and depression disappear, your teen may still be struggling in a way that’s easier to hide. Regardless, extended therapy reduces the chances of your teenager relapsing into depression and anxiety.
Warning signs and symptoms of teenage anxiety and depression
One of the problems with recognizing depression and anxiety is that the symptoms can be subtle and complex. Recognizing anxiety and depression in teenagers is even more difficult because the symptoms of run-of-the-mill teenage angst can be identical to the symptoms of serious depression and anxiety. Some of the things to look out for include:
- Overwhelming feelings of despair
- Perpetual anger that might seem irrational
- Hopeless, empty feelings
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Losing interest in pleasurable activities
- Poor self-esteem
- Dwelling on past failures and mistakes
- If they need constant reassurance
- Cognitive difficulties
- Despair about the future
- Insomnia or oversleeping
- Appetite changes
- Substance abuse
- Poor academic performance
- Phantom aches and pains
- Poor personal hygiene
- Suicidal gestures and threats
How Elevations RTC can help teenagers with anxiety and depression
Treating disorders such as anxiety and depression is difficult, and you may need professional help from a program like Elevations RTC. Elevations RTC is an inclusive, modern residential treatment center that focuses on fostering healthy and respectful interactions between residents of opposite genders.
Elevations RTC believes that the best way to prepare their residents for the real world is to introduce them to the real world in an encouraging and safe environment.
Elevations RTC stands out from other residential treatment centers because they have a variety of programs to treat specific mental health problems. Elevations RTC also offers experimental and accredited academic programs that ensure your teenager has fun learning, while not falling behind on their education.
Just a few of the problems that Elevations RTC can help with include:
- Drug addiction
- Technology dependence
- Anti-social behavior
- Refusal to participate in school
Elevations RTC practices different forms of therapy, including:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- The 12 Step Model
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
If your teenager is struggling with severe depression and anxiety, you might need to look into getting professional help for them. If your teenager’s mental illnesses get to the point where you feel you need to seek professional help, Elevations RTC is one of the best places you can turn to for that help.