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Treating Teen Depression Might Improve Mental Health of Parents, Too


There are so many changes happening to adolescents on a physical, emotional, and intellectual level, and this can become quite confusing for them and the entire family. It is not uncommon for this frustration to lead to some sad times and tears, but when a teen’s mental health turns into a major depressive disorder, it’s time to seek professional help.

Treating teen depression will not only help the adolescent, but may also improve the mental health of parents, siblings, and other loved ones.

Depression in Teens

The rate of teen suicide has nearly tripled since the 1960s, and major depressive disorders among adolescents is increasing at an astounding rate. Beyond the physical aspects, there are social concerns, emotional flux, and possibly unreasonable or unwanted demands and expectations.

Teen Mental Health & Warning Signs of Depression

Observe your child, and yourself, for these signals indicating a possible struggle with a major depressive disorder:

  • Change in performance at school, work, sports, etc
  • Persistent apathy
  • Isolation
  • Withdrawal from normal social groups
  • Unusual behaviors and mood swings
  • Change in sleep or eating patterns
  • Sense of hopelessness
  • Lack of confidence/low self-esteem
  • Substance abuse

Break the Cycle

The mental health of one person in a household can have a profound effect on the mental health of all members. When one person is down, others may become forlorn just picking up on the negativity, or out of frustration that they are unable to help the person struggling with depression—and the vicious cycle begins and is perpetuated.

A 9-month study of approximately 300 young adults conducted by Northwestern University graduate student Kelsey Howard tracked teen mental health and the mental health of at least one of their parents. While the mental health of the parents may not be directly affected by the improvement of their teen’s mental health, Howard found that “parental depression symptoms improved over the course of the study.”

Adolescent Treatment Programs

At Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, we have Adolescent Treatment Programs designed to meet the unique needs of the changing young adult. We understand that teen mental health, and all mental health treatment, requires an individualized approach.

Contact us today to help your child or a loved one who may be struggling with depression. We can answer your questions about our therapies and provide additional community resources.