Teen Depression is a rapidly growing concern in our society today.
Aside from obesity, teen depression is one of the major concerns affecting our youth today. Reaching near epidemic proportions, teen depression is immensely contributing to countless numbers of teen deaths via suicide –thousands per year and countless more attempts. Teen depression can be a difficult problem to diagnose for parents, as many teens often will not open-up with their parents and when it comes to depression many will not talk to their friends because of the status quo of depression. Teen depression symptoms are very much the same as adults. Some of the symptoms include:
• Lack of motivation or general interest in normal daily activities
• Feelings of hopelessness
• Any suicidal thoughts
• Signs of withdrawal from everyday friends
If you suspect your teen may be depressed, talk to him or her and take them to your doctor. Anti-Depressant drugs are widely prescribed today but may not be the only option available. Scientific studies over the past few years have reached some startling conclusions about teen depression. Recently, several studies have concluded that suicide rates have actually gone up for teens taking antidepressant drugs; the validity of such studies has yet to be determined.
Many of the patients who are taking heavy doses of antidepressants are generally suicidal anyway, so it makes it difficult to tell if the drug itself is actually contributing to suicide or if the teens are either not taking their drugs, or the drugs are not acting quickly enough to relieve depression. It should also be noted that the use of anti-depressant drugs have probably helped more teens than not.
Thorough research should be done before making any decisions to take anti-depressants. Talk to friends and family and ask around if they know anyone taking anti-depressant drugs and their successes. After starting treatment careful monitoring of you child should be done by you and your doctor. Many times 1 type of anti-depressant may not work so another can be tried.
There are other treatment options available for your depressed child. Depression chat through counseling is one possible option if your child is not suffering from severe depression. Alternatively, you could consider electroconvulsive therapy or nerve stimulation as possible treatment options for those suffering with teen depression. Magnetic and hormone based therapies are also possibilities for treatment, but they are completely experimental at this point and nobody knows for sure yet if they will actually work to prevent depression in the long term. Understanding depression and its symptoms should help you determine what type of depression your child may or may not have and help you to seek out the professional that may be needed.
Dennis M Driscoll