Effects of Teen Depression

Teen depression is not simply a "down" mood -- it is a serious health problem that affects the total person. Besides changes in feelings, teen depression effects can include changes in behavior, physical health and appearance, academic performance, social activity, and the ability to handle everyday decisions and pressures. Also, depressed teenagers are at a greater risk of committing suicide than are teenagers without depression. Fortunately, teen depression can be treated through medicines, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two.

Effects of Teen Depression: An Overview

Depression is more than the blues or the blahs; it is more than the normal, everyday ups and downs. When that "down" mood, along with other symptoms, lasts for more than a couple of weeks, the condition may be clinical depression (also known as major depression). Clinical depression is a serious health problem that affects the total person. In addition to feelings, it can change behavior, physical health and appearance, academic performance, social activity, and the ability to handle everyday decisions and pressures.
 
Fortunately, there is treatment for teen depression, just as there is treatment for depression in adults. Most teenagers can be helped with psychotherapy, antidepressants, or a combination of the two. Short-term psychotherapy consists of talking with a trained professional about your feelings. He or she can help you change the relationships, thoughts, or behaviors that contribute to your depression (see Psychotherapy for Depression).
 
Depression medications have been developed that effectively treat severe or disabling depression. Antidepressant medications are not "uppers" and are not addictive. Sometimes, several types of medications may have to be tried before you and your healthcare provider find the one that works best (see Antidepressants in Children).
 
Treatment can help most depressed teenagers start to feel better in just a few weeks. However, many people wonder about the long-term teen depression effects. They might ask questions such as, "Will it come back" or, "Are there any other conditions that teen depression increases the risk for?"
 
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Depression in Teens

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