Treatment for Depression in Teenagers / Adolescents:
As a rule, teenagers or adolescents with depression do not respond to parental attempts to motivate them to think positively. Teenagers and adolescents very often require professional help from a psychologist and therapist to overcome their symptoms. Ruling out a physical disorder, or treating it if one is found, is the first necessary step in helping to relieve your teenager's feeling of despair.
Psychologists today use many different approaches to treating depression. For the more severe cases, the most typical outpatient technique is to blend antidepressant medication with psychotherapy. All of these drugs have minor unpleasant side effects, but those for whom the medications bring relief from depression are usually glad to tolerate them. Psychotherapy should always accompany pharmacological treatment. As the antidepressant improves the underlying moods, the reasons for the despondency must be explored, maladaptive patterns examined, and efforts to make necessary changes supported.
Psychotherapy by itself works well with teenagers who have mild to moderate depression. Psychologists believe that depression results from a negative mind set. Treatment focuses on teaching the teenagers to modify their negative view of the world in keeping with reality. The most effective method in altering the teenager’s thinking is applying cognitive-behavioral techniques. The teenagers learn how their thinking maintains their depression, and the psychologists alter these depression-producing cognitions. The teenagers also master techniques to relax and improve their social skills. They become aware of the value of pleasurable activities and inject these into their lives; and they learn how to use these new insights and behaviors in their day-to-day life.
It is hard for anyone who has been depressed to imagine feeling good again and enjoying the feelings of normalcy. More so, teenagers are far less willing than other age groups to accept the suggestion that they might benefit from psycho-therapy or even consultation from a psychologist. Even when the evidence of their problems and unhappiness is undeniable, a large proportion will resist seeing a therapist or other mental health professional. These problems should not mean that psycho-therapy should be avoided, or once attempted that it is doomed. The initiation of psycho-therapy has to be a joint effort by the parent and their teenager working in concert. Such therapy takes time and much patience.
Kaynaz Nasseri is a psychology therapist specializing in the treatment and counseling of teenagers and adolescents with depression. Her psycho-therapy practice is located in Newport Beach, but she helps patients that visit her from all of Southern California, including Orange County, San Diego, and Los Angeles, such as: