Depression in adolescents: how to detect and treat it
The Spanish Association of Pediatrics, AEP, estimates that around the 4% of adolescents in our country suffer from some type of depressive process. Depression has serious effects on the life of the adolescent who is caught in this situation during a time of change in which he is often lost. A condition that can alter your academic life and make you end up isolated in this world of sadness and melancholy that is so difficult to leave.
Why depression occurs
One of the most frequently asked questions in parents is: 'why is my son depressed? ' Often adults can not understand the reasons why suddenly a teenager is so sad and dull. Pediatricians warn that the causes for these problems to appear are very diverse and can cover several reasons, from the genetic predisposition, up to environmental factors.
The probability that a teenager suffers from depression is multiplied by four when someone in your family has suffered from these problems. Pediatricians also claim that such tragic events In the lives of young people, such as the loss of a loved one, family breakdown, difficulties in school or bullying can also end up affecting their state of mind and end up leading to a depressive process.
How to detect depression in adolescents
On many occasions, parents are slow to realize that their children have depression. However, if you appreciate some changes in attitude of adolescents, it is possible to detect this problem in its early stages. The AEP reminds parents of these variations as the most important:
- Irritability, anything bothers him and therefore he has serious anger-Sadness, frequent and repeated crying over the days.
- Feelings of futility, the teenager thinks it is useless.
- He does not laugh anymore Both with what he used to do and his attitude towards the activities that he used to like, he has taken a negative tone.
- Regular tiredness, even when he sleeps the necessary hours.
- It does not happen that much time with your friends, he retires into his world and avoids going out with his friends.
- It is blamed of all the bad things that happen at home.
- He complains that he painful areas of the body and there is no medical evidence of problems.
- Suddenly starts to take off bad grades and has difficulty concentrating.
- Less appetite. It can also happen on the contrary since many teenagers find comfort in food.
How to treat depression
If any of these symptoms or several of them have been observed, the parents will first have to talk to the adolescent. Find a time to sit with him and explain to him that will always find support in the family, with whom you can vent and tell all your feelings. It is also convenient to remind him that he is not to blame for the ills that happen around him and that he can not live with that feeling.
The next step will be to make an appointment with a specialist so that this is the one who speaks with the child and see to what extent the adolescent is affected by this depression. It will be this doctor who decides the correct treatment, and the sooner this begins, less will be complicated This problem and less negative effects will have on the young person's life.
This treatment will depend on the age of the adolescent, the number of symptoms present and whether or not there has been family background. The drugs that are used to treat these problems are usually the SSRI type antidepressants, selective inhibitors of serotonin reuptake, which are very safe. You can also resort to the Cognitive-behavioral-type psychotherapy.
This treatment is based on the idea that erroneous negative thoughts trigger behaviors of the same sign, and are responsible for the symptoms depressed The goal is to discover those ideas and correct them, to modify the behavior. It can be done individually or in groups, and its duration is usually 2 or 3 months.