Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sue Scheff: Teen Depression

Be aware of your teens emotional needs. During the summer can be a difficult time if they don't have goals, plans and activities. Get them involved. If they don't have a job, encourage them to volunteer at Nursing Homes, Humane Societies, etc. Building their self esteem can help them feel good about themselves.
There are many causes of teen depression. The most common causes are:

•Significant life events like the death of a family member or close friend, parents divorce or split, breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, or moving to a new school/area.

•Emotional/Physical neglect, being separated from a nurturer, abuse, damage to self esteem.

•Many changes happening too quickly can cause depression. For some teens, any major change at one time can trigger symptoms.

•Stress, especially in cases where the teen has little or no emotional support from parents, other family members, or friends.

•Past traumatic events or experiences like sexual abuse, general abuse, or other major experiences often harbor deep within a child and emerge in the teen years. Most children are unable to process these types of events when they happen, but of course, they remember them. As they age, the events/experiences become clearer and they gain new understanding.
•Changes associated with puberty often cause emotions labeled as depression.

•Abuse of drugs or other substances can cause changes in the brainĂ•s chemistry, in many cases, causing some types of depression.

•Some medical conditions such as hypothyroidism are believed to affect hormone and mood balance. Physical pain that is chronic can also trigger depression. In many cases, depression caused by medical conditions disappears when medical attention is sought and treatment occurs.
•Depression is a genetic disorder, and teens with family members who have suffered from depression have a higher chance of developing it themselves.

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