How To Find A Support Group For Teenage Depression
Every young person is faced with countless challenges during adolescence. Teenagers are forced to navigate difficult life lessons, all while experiencing surging hormones, physical changes, complex emotional situations, sometimes enduring paralyzing internal and external pressures. Although difficult, adolescence is a time period for self-discovery as teenagers yearn for autonomy while maturing into adulthood. It is normal for young people to experience strong emotions, both positive and negative. Learning ample emotional tools to help effectively process and integrate the wide variety of situations, emotions and experiences is essential. Adolescence is a time that mental health illnesses may begin to surface. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression affects more than 264 million people worldwide. Teenage depression is unfortunately highly prevalent in the adolescent population.
What Is Teenage Depression?
Depression, clinically referred to as major depressive disorder, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), and is characterized by persistent sadness and a lack of interest or pleasure in previously rewarding or enjoyable activities. The symptoms of depression can vary from mild to severe. Some common symptoms of teen depression can include the following, as provided by the Mayo Clinic:
- Low self-esteem
- Crying spells
- Feelings of sadness
- Irrational feelings of anger and/ or frustration
- Conflict with family and friends and/ or social isolation
- Seeks excessive external validation and reassurance
- Difficulty concentrating
- Compromised memory
- Decision making difficulty
- Loss of energy
- Sleep disturbances (i.e. insomnia, sleeping too much)
- Substance abuse
- Weight fluctuation
- Changes in appetite
- Random body aches and pains
- Lacks personal hygiene
- Self-harming behavior (i.e. burning, cutting, excessive piercing, etc.)
- Suicidal ideation
The combination and severity of symptoms that manifest will be specific and unique to each adolescent. Teenage depression will affect how a young person thinks, feels and behaves. It can cause emotional, functional and physical problems.
Support Group Options
There are a variety of support group options for young people struggling with depression. Every teenager is different as is each support group. In addition to the type of group and its facilitator, the specific individuals participating in the support group create its dynamic. As such, there will be some support groups that may not resonate with some teens as they would with others. Below are several support group options available to teenagers struggling with depression:
- The Tribe: offers peer-to-peer support groups for teenagers faced with mental health challenges
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA): offers peer-based, wellness-oriented support and empowering services and resources to those in need.
- Mental Health America (MHA)
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)
- Psychology Today has compiled a list of depression support group options currently available in America
While participating in support groups can be an excellent supplement to treatment for depression, a young person struggling with depression will likely require additional support and may benefit from psychotherapy. Depression is a serious mental health disorder. If left untreated, depression can lead to severe, in some cases life-threatening, consequences.
For Information and Support
Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.
Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769. You can also contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our contact form.