One of the more troubling statistics about teen depression is that only 30 percent of those affected get proper treatment. In some cases, teen depression leads to suicide, which is the third leading cause of death for those aged 15 to 24. This should be very sobering information, and cause for concern. It is important that teen depression receive treatment.
There are three main teen depression treatment options. They are medication, counseling and long-term care. Depending on the individual needs of your teenager, one treatment option, or a combination of treatment options, may work better than others.
Medication as a teen depression treatment option
In terms of taking effect, one of the fastest of the teen depression treatment options is medication. Some teenagers respond well to anti-depressants, helping to suppress the chemical triggers in their brains that affect their emotions. This can be effective in some cases, and is often recommended for severe cases of teen depression.
However, it should be noted that medication as a teen depression treatment should be approached with care. In some cases, teenagers do not respond as expected. Because their brains are still developing, anti-depressants may not have the desired affect. Some studies have shown that for some depressed teenagers, medication actually increases the chance of suicide.
Counseling for teen depression
Some teenagers respond well to counseling. In counseling, teen depression is treated as the teenager learns to work through his or her problems in a safe environment. The counselor encourages the teenager to talk through issues, and may help the teen come up with ways to cope with teen depression.
Individual counseling. This is when the depressed teenager goes into counseling sessions on his or her own. It is just the counselor and the teenager. The teenager can feel free to say whatever he or she wants. The counselor should be non-judgmental and can help the teen overcome depression in a non-threatening situation.
Family counseling. Some teenagers respond better if other family members are there. This can help the family work together as a complete unit to address the issue of teen depression. Additionally, the family may come to better understand the depressed teenager, and learn ways to be more supportive and helpful. Family members who attend, though, should be strictly non-judging and try to play close attention to the feelings of the depressed teenager. The environment should remain a safe one.
Treating teen depression with long-term care
Long-term care facilities can help teenagers by allowing them to be under constant supervision. These facilities often feature trained professionals who not only monitor depressed teenagers, but they also have the ability to help them immediately, as needed.
Residential treatment facilities. These are safe places that a teenager can go to get around the clock help and support for teen depression. These teen depression treatment options often feature a combination of counseling and medication with constant supervision. This ensures that physical and emotional needs are met immediately.
Therapeutic boarding schools. Sometimes treating teen depression requires a change of scene. However, you may still want your child to be able to keep up in his or her studies while receiving help for teen depression. This is where therapeutic boarding schools come in. Often, teachers and counselors are experienced in helping depressed teenagers. In addition to learning coping behaviors and other ways to overcome teen depression, teenagers meet new friends (who understand their situation), can find new hobbies and receive proper support and care.
It is important to note, however, that it is a good idea to keep in contact with your depressed teenager while he or she is at a long-term care facility. You may not be able to visit, but some residential treatment centers and therapeutic boarding schools allow letters, emails and/or phone calls. You need to make sure that your teenager still feels loved and supported by you.
Finding the right treatment option for teen depression is a matter of choosing what would work best for an individual. There is no one way to treat teen depression. Sometimes a combination of treatments is needed as well.
You need to come up with a treatment plan that works well for your teenager. Think about how your teen is likely to react to the different teen depression treatment options. Talk to him or her about what he or she might prefer. After all, this is primarily about your teenager. It is important that you include him or her in any treatment plan decisions that you make.