Clinical depression is an emotional state of persistent dejection, ranging from relatively mild discouragement and gloominess to feelings of extreme despondency and despair.
The term "teenage clinical depression" refers to teenagers that suffer from some type of clinical depression.
There are five main types of clinical depression: Dysthymia, Major Depression, Cychlothymia, Bipolar Disorder and Atypical Depression.
Teenagers can suffer from any of these types of depression and if they are not treated, the outcome of their illness can be fatal. The good news is that when depressive patients are treated close to 90% of them get better.
The sooner the treatment for depression starts the better it is. Unfortunately many teenagers that suffer from depression do not get any treatment which makes their lives sometimes unbearable; or if they do get treatment it is not appropriate one.
One of the reasons why some depressed teenagers are not in therapy is the inability of their parents to recognize depression. On the other side sometimes when parents suspect their teenager may be depressed they are reluctant to seek help because they feel ashamed.
Please note that depression is an illness like any other, and that there is nothing to be ashamed of. Depression is not a sign of weakness but a very treatable disorder.
Sometimes it is difficult to recognize symptoms of teenage depression or to distinguish between symptoms of depression and the normal teenage behavior.
Recognizing Teenage Depression
One of the most important things when dealing with teen depression is to be able to recognize depression in your teenagers. The way this is done is described fully in one of the articles you can find on this web site under the name "Recognizing Teenage Depression".
In short, you need to educate yourself as much as possible about teenage clinical depression and seek professional help if you suspect your teenager may be depressed.
What are the Symptoms of Teenage Depression?
Knowing symptoms of teenage depression can help a lot with recognizing depression in your teenager.
Symptoms of teenage clinical depression:
· Thoughts about suicide
· Use of alcohol or drugs
· Academic problems
· Persistent sadness
· Mood swings
· Behavioral problems
· Difficulty concentrating
· Change in eating pattern
· Neglect of personal appearance
There are many other symptoms of teenage depression and they are discussed in more detail in article "Symptoms of Teenage Depression".
Important thing to mention here is that two depressed teenagers can have very different symptoms of depression. One teenager can be aggressive and hypo-manic and another can be persistently sad and fatigued.
Treatment for Teenage Clinical Depression
Teenage clinical depression can be treated in more than one way. In some cases psychotherapy can be enough, for some others antidepressants are used together with psychotherapy. Antidepressants are not the sole solution for teenage clinical depression but they can be very useful in severe cases.
There are Many Types of Psychotherapy:
Interpersonal therapy is a very promising and quite successful depression treatment. It is a short-term psychotherapy and it usually lasts for about 12-16 weeks. This therapy is developed for depression treatment, specifically major depression which is why it is used a lot in treating depressive disorders.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
In this therapy, therapists are focused on the way person thinks and behaves and will try, together with her or him, to change unproductive and unwanted ways of thinking and behaving. There are many ways to do this and one of them is by homework assignments. They are given so that patient’s vicious cycle of negative thinking and behaving is stopped.
Family therapy is very useful in treating teenage clinical depression and it is strongly recommended. It is very important that parents know how to act and react around their depressed teenager.
Coping with teenage clinical depression can be very difficult however if your child is in therapy and you are supportive in the right way depression will become the past and you and your children will have the future.