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Adolescent Therapy

Mental health disorders can be hard for even adolescents to continue their every day activities, but therapy may be what can help them.

how & why

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Everyone remembers their youth and what it was like growing up, but for many, their time as an adolescent may have been tough for them. From going through puberty and all of the changes your body goes through, dealing with hormones, emotions, and more, it can be something that lots of teenagers struggle with. Feeling down and having bouts of sadness is one thing, but depression is a whole other issue to tackle, but a way to fight through it is to go to therapy.

Adolescent therapy is a great alternative when it comes to battling depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety affect many teens around the world because of all of the changes that they are facing, but to be more specific, it affects about 3.2 million teens ages 12-17 where they may have already had a depressive episode.

Continue reading to learn more about:

  • What does depression look like in adolescence?
  • What does a therapy session look like?
  • Why can adolescents benefit from therapy?
  • Adolescent therapy options to choose from

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact emergency services or reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s free, confidential, 24/7 national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for immediate assistance.

What Does Depression Look Like in Adolescence?

Depression in adolescence can be a little bit different than depression in an adult. There are different symptoms that you can notice, such as acting out, misbehaving, low self-esteem and more. Some of these other symptoms can include:

  • Crying spells
  • Feelings of anger over the smallest things
  • Feeling hopeless or even empty
  • Irritable mood swings
  • Conflict with family and friends
  • Loss of interested in activities or hobbies
  • Low self-esteem
  • Self-blames or criticizes themselves
  • Fixates on past mistakes
  • Sensitive to rejection or failure
  • No hope for their future
  • Have trouble thinking, making decisions, or remembering things
  • Thoughts of suicide

Adolescents that are depressed can also experience many behavioral changes as well that can affect their everyday lives. From insomnia, poor school performance, use of drugs or alcohol, angry outbursts, self-harm, and more can be more signs that contribute to someone in their teenage years being depressed.

There are also more specific reasons why it is common to see depression and anxiety in adolescents, such as:

  • Brain chemistry - When neurotransmitters are abnormal or impaired in your brain, the nerve receptors in your nervous system change, which can lead to depression.
  • Inherited traits - Depression can run through the family and if you have a family member that has been diagnosed with it, there is a greater possibility that you can be diagnosed with it as well.
  • Hormones - Having an imbalance of hormones can cause anxiety and depression
  • Early childhood trauma - Significant life events in childhood can have long lasting effects that can cause a teenager to act out.
  • Negative thinking - Learned patterns such as feeling helpless can affect a teenager’s future.

What Does a Therapy Session Look Like for Adolescents?

Therapy sessions for adolescents are extremely important if they’re suffering from a mental health disorder. Being able to comfortably open up to a therapist about everyday issues that you are currently facing is extremely important and this is usually what a session looks like. You can get reliable advice from your therapist and explain how you are feeling on a daily basis and work through these emotions too.

Sometimes therapists give their clients homework to complete before their next session, which can consist of things that you can easily do in your everyday life. From exercising a couple days a week, making entries in a journal, joining a boxing session to release any pent up anger, and more to help you in your recovery.

Why Can Adolescents Benefit From Therapy?

Depression is a mental illness that affects about 3.2 million teens ages 12-17 where they may have already had a depressive episode, but knowing the signs and symptoms of it can help you realize that you need help.

Now, what exactly is depression? Depression, or Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), can be classified as a serious mood disorder that often leaves you feeling sad all the time, hopeless, worthless, and any other negative feelings you could possibly feel. It can affect not only your mood, but how you think, feel, and even how you perform daily activities too.

Adolescents can benefit from therapy for so many different reasons. Once you get to your therapy session, it is all about problem solving. What this means is that you explain your current situation to your therapist and then they will lead you in the right direction on how to challenge or fix the situation you’re in so you can improve your life.

Getting into therapy as a teenager early on can help them improve their depression symptoms before they get out of hand. By seeking out this help, they can help to make lifestyle changes, mood changes, improvements in behavior, and more to help them live a better and healthier life than before.

Adolescent Therapy Options to Choose From

There are so many incredible therapy options that you can enroll an adolescent in whenever there are any signs that they are depressed. These options can all help out in some way to help an adolescent deal with any past traumas, or current traumas that they are facing.

Group Therapy

One of the most common types of therapy sessions to attend are group therapy sessions where you can sit in a room with many other people of the same age that is led by a therapist or two. Adolescents can talk about their struggles and even listen to other people’s troubles as well to relate to them. It can help improve mental health and even social skills.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

This type of therapy consists of looking more into an adolescent’s moods, thoughts, behaviors, and anxieties and examining their confusion and harmful thought patterns. The therapist then takes these thoughts and tries to help them replace them with more positive behaviors and more.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy is more focuses on adolescents that who are having suicidal thoughts, or have even engaged in suicidal behaviors where they learn to take responsibility over their problems and learn how to deal with conflict and negative thinking patterns.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Have you ever heard of psychodynamic psychotherapy? This type of therapy helps to motivate an adolescent with the hopes of influencing their thoughts, behaviors, and feelings about what they are going through. This can in return help them with their current struggles, behavior patterns, and other issues they may be facing.

Contact a Mental Health Specialist to Take Back Your Life with Adolescent Therapy

Depression should not be the end of the world and we know that you or an adolescent in your life wants to take their life back, so make sure to contact Transformations Care Network where they are dedicated to helping you get your life back on track. Contact us today to learn what our mental health specialists can do for you and how they can get you back on your feet.