If your teen has lost desire to hang out with friends, has difficulty concentrating or remembering, loses appetite, or can’t seem to go to sleep at night, you may write it off as normal teenage behavior. However, if these or other anti-social behaviors continue for any length of time, it may indicate a more serious issue. Teenagers with depression are often times categorized as “just going through changes” or being “overly hormonal,” but when the sadness and retraction do not go away within a few weeks, it is more likely your teenager is suffering from depression and may not know how to cope.
How do you decipher between normal developmental behavior in teenagers and teenagers with depression?
Signs of Depression In Teens
- Desire not go to school
- Decrease in social activities
- Lack of appetite
- Obsession with physical appearance
- Retracting from peer group
While you may see any of these at one time or another, James McCracken of the University of California, Los Angeles Neuropsychiatric Institute says a sudden appearance of more than a couple of these behaviors can be a sign of teenagers with depression. While you can address teen depression in your home or with a weekly psychiatrist meeting, you may need a more comprehensive solution, especially if the depression has led to substance abuse, school problems or a defiant teenager.
What is outdoor therapy?
Wilderness programs for troubled teens combine the benefits of a therapeutic treatment program with the healing and freedom found outside. Wilderness therapy allows therapists to observe behaviors and teen mental health in actual situations, discovering things they may not realize by simply talking with your teen. Outdoor therapy programs push teens away from their comfort zone and address their behaviors and emotions without distractions. Wilderness therapy also teaches teenagers with depression coping strategies.
There are some basic life changes that can drastically affect your mood, like eating healthily, increasing physical activity, and a consistent sleep schedule. Teen wilderness programs provide an outdoor environment that promotes all around health, physical, emotional, and mental.
Teen wilderness programs also teach teenagers how to increase their self-image, by promoting independence and teaching new skills. They will not only learn how to cope with depressing thoughts, but celebrate accomplishments by overcoming problems. Teenagers with depression can discover just how much they are capable of and begin to change the way they look at themselves and others.
Teen Wilderness Programs
If you are a parent with a depressed and defiant teenager and is causing problems with their home and school life, do not wait to seek help. They may need help getting to the root of what’s driving their emotions and behavior and how to cope with these stresses long-term. If you would like more information on behavioral therapy and Trails Wilderness program, please call 800-975-7303 to speak with an admissions person about your family’s situation.