Unfortunately depression in teenage boys is increasing every year. Depression is a serious illness and it can destroy a young person’s future if a teenager is not treated appropriately.
What is an appropriate treatment for depression in teenage boys?
An appropriate treatment for any illness is the treatment conducted by a trained health professional. In case of depression that is usually either a psychologist or a psychiatrist.
Some parents believe they are able to treat their depressed teenagers. Even though parents can play an important role during a teenager’s depression treatment they (on their own) cannot treat successfully their depressed teenagers; in fact when they try, it is always counterproductive.
Depression in teenage boys is not something unusual, especially if they are living in a dysfunctional family. However families usually fail to recognize depression in teenage boys. When teenage boys are aggressive, the majority of people believe that boys are just being boys and nobody suspects they may be depressed.
Aggressive behavior is one of the symptoms of depression as well as alcohol abuse, risk taking behaviors and many other types of behaviors that are misbelieved to be normal teenage behavior for boys.
If a teenage girl is aggressive everybody knows that there is a problem but if a teenage boy is aggressive nobody finds that to be anything alarming.
Failing to recognize depression in a teenage boy means failing to help him. And if a depressive adolescent is not treated for his disorder he is robbed of his future. The responsibility is on adult’s shoulders and not on the teenager’s. Nobody should be blamed but it is important to emphasize who is responsible in order to help those that need help.
What are the symptoms of depression in boys?
· Aggressive behavior
· Chronic pain
· Risk taking behavior
· Alcohol or drug abuse
· Mood swings
· Social withdrawal
What is the best way to treat depression in teenage boys? The best treatment for depression in teenage boys is psychotherapy alone and in severe cases psychotherapy together with antidepressants. Psychotherapy is the place where the actual healing is taking place and antidepressants are just a tool, to in some cases relieve a patient from his symptoms, so that he can participate in psychotherapy.
There are many kinds of psychotherapy: psychoanalytical therapies, cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, gestalt therapy etc. You can find more information about these therapies, in an article on this site called “Treatment for Teenage Depression”.
How to prevent depression in teenage boys?
The best way to prevent depression in teenage boys as well as in teenage girls is to guide them through their puberty without them knowing you are doing so. The guidance must start at an early age without too much pressure.
In other words you need to parent your children without them knowing you are doing so. Every child knows that when their parents say “don’t talk with a full mouth” they parents are parenting them. However, when you tell a fun but moral story to a child, aside from having fun that child is also being guided. This can also be applied to teenagers however in more sophisticated way.
If teenagers are guided in the right way through their puberty, which is filed with many confusing situations and feelings, there is much less chance for them to get depressed than those that are left to manage on their own.
Teenagers should always be encouraged to do sports. Any kind of sport is a good thing for a child. Volunteering can also be therapeutic as well as hobbies.
Coping with depression in teenage boys:
Dealing with depression in teenage boys can be difficult, this is why family therapy is strongly recommended. Family therapy provides education about depression in teenage boys and coping tools. It also teaches other family members how to support a depressed individual which is an important part of healing.