Teenage Depression: A caregivers guide Part three
This is the final part in a three part segment to Teenage Depression. In this guide we will discuss the various treatment methods and options for teenage depression.
Getting the treatment needed for teenage depression
Teenage Depression can be damaging if it is left untreated, so it’s important not to wait around and hope that their symptoms will go away on their own. If you see any warning signs for teenage depression you should seek help for your teen.
Schedule an appointment immediately for your teenager to see their family doctor for a depression screening. You will want to be ready to give your doctor specific information about any depression symptoms, including how long they have been having them, how they affect your teen’s daily life, and the patterns you have been noticing. It’s also beneficial to inform the doctor if anyone in the family has ever been diagnosed with depression or another mental health disorder.
Looking for a depression specialist
When it comes to depression you will want to find a specialist that can help them deal with the issues, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. A mental health specialist will have been trained specifically in the field of dealing with depression. When making the decision for which specialist to go with, let your teen in on the choice. It’s important to get their input for when it comes to their health and treatment options.
Medication alone will not solve the problem
It’s important to realize that medication on its own will not solve the problem. You will want to discuss with the specialist what options you have available to you including medications, and therapy. Talk therapy is usually a good first treatment method for teens with more milder forms of depression. Over the course of the therapy you may see your teen’s depression resolve itself. Remember not to feel pushed into using antidepressants for your teen if you feel they could benefit from talk therapy alone.
Antidepressants and teenagers
Antidepressants were made specifically for adults, so how they affect the teenage brain is really not understood fully. It’s up to you as their parent whether or not you are willing to let them start on a course of antidepressants. Remember if they are starting on this treatment plan they will want to see their doctor:
- Every 2 weeks for at least the next month
- At the end of their twelfth week of taking the medication
- If problems arise
- Once a week for about four weeks.
Warning signs to look for when on antidepressants.
- Thoughts of suicide
- Feeling agitated
- Panic attacks
- Worsening or new depression symptoms
- Acting more aggressive
- Difficultly sleeping
- Dangerous impulsive behavior
Remember that treatment is the first step. It’s a long journey in helping your teen get through their depression. You will want to always make sure you have an ear open to listen at all times when they need to talk, and are aware of all the warning symptoms, and signs of suicide. In addition remember you are not alone in this, and there are others out there just like you that can offer support. You will want to remember to take care of yourself and other family members and not fully put all your attention on your depressed teen. This could only lead to feelings of resentment from your other children.