Depression In Children And Teenagers
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depression in children and teenagers

Depression In Children And Teenagers

By Alan B. Densky, CH

Clinical depression is an illness caused by chemical imbalances in the brain that make someone constantly feel sad, aloof, negative, and unmotivated. It can last for weeks, months, or even years. It can be caused by stress, traumatic events, or nothing at all. Depression can affect people of all ages, including teenagers and even young children. 

Children and teens often suffer from depression, which leaves parents with lots of questions such as: why does it happen, and what can they do for their child? The good news is that depression is treatable and some of the most effective depression treatments come in the form of Neuro-Linguistic Programming techniques. 

In the past, it was believed that children and teens could not experience depression, but the truth is that depression can affect people of any age. Often, depression in children and teens is triggered by events such as a loss in the family, changing schools, a relationship breakup, illness, or abuse. Sometimes, depression occurs on its own. Depression often runs in families, meaning parents with depression are more likely to have children who also suffer from depression. 


There are several different forms of depressive disorder. Most young people with depression have a form of major depressive disorder. This type interferes with a person's ability to enjoy life and engage in normal activities. Some children and teens may also suffer from a milder form of depression called Dysthymia, which is a long-term form of depression with milder symptoms than major depression. A rarer but still common form of depressive disorder is manic depression (bipolar disorder), which is characterized by sudden mood swings from extreme happiness to extreme sadness. 

Depression can be a serious problem for young people because their symptoms are slightly different from the ones adults commonly display, making it more difficult to diagnose and treat. Often, young people with depression will not feel sad or "depressed" as one would expect in adults. Constant irritability is usually one of the biggest signs of depression in children and teenagers. Depression symptoms can be subtle, but may include difficulty sleeping, persistent sadness, fatigue, and decreased interest in things they used to love doing.

Children with depression may do poorly in school, have trouble making friends, or get in trouble by "acting up," a cry for attention. The effects are also pronounced for teens, who may experiment with drugs and alcohol to escape their mental depression. Depression is not the sufferer's fault, but people with depression do have the power to seek treatment and learn how to cope with their condition. 

Depression help treatments can range from counseling and therapy, to the use of antidepressant medication. Group therapy can be helpful for teens and older children by providing a safe place to share their experience with their peers. Monitored online services such as depression in teenagers chat rooms can also provide a source of information for teen depression and serve as an outlet for depressed teens. 

Behavioral therapy can help teach people of all ages how to manage their depression. Counseling can help families understand what triggers a child's depression. Family therapy helps educate parents on why their child has depression and what they can do to help their child. 

In some cases, antidepressants or antipsychotic medications are prescribed. This is only done under the careful supervision of a doctor who will monitor the child's health and mental state. Even though people with severe depression may need to take antidepressants, these drugs can have many side effects, especially in sensitive and still-developing children and teens. For this reason, psychological counseling, understanding and support from parents and professional counselors, and the use of techniques that help children learn how to relieve their depression by themselves are considered to be better for helping young people with depression. 

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques can be used to treat stress, anxiety, and depression. They help people develop safe and positive coping mechanisms for dealing with depression. It is appropriate for people of all ages because it is non-invasive, does not require the use of any drugs, and is a helpful form of self-therapy. 

One NLP technique used to combat depression is known as the NLP Flash. This technique reprograms the unconscious mind to use the thoughts that create stress and depression, as triggers for thoughts that create relaxation instead. It is a technique that even young people can learn to use to help them manage their depression. 

People who are diagnosed with depression need not suffer. Therapeutic techniques and treatments can help depressed people of all ages live better. NLP techniques are excellent for helping young people and their families cope with anxiety and depression. These techniques can diminish or even eliminate depression in people of all ages. 


© 2007 By Alan B. Densky, CH.  This document may NOT be re-printed without permission. All Rights Reserved.  We are happy to syndicate our articles to approved websites.

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