The teenage years are trying regardless of what’s going on in the world. Add in a global pandemic, and the difficulty of being a teenager increases exponentially. This is an age group that’s already at greater risk of depression and anxiety, so the last year has sent the numbers soaring in teens.
The number of teenagers with depression, anxiety, or both, is at an all-time high. Roughly one in three teenagers suffer from depression and anxiety. There are multiple causes. Many teens exhibit signs that parents and other adults should look out for. Parents can seek help for their teenagers at treatment centers like Elevations RTC.
In this article, we’re looking at some causes of depression and anxiety in teenagers. We’ll discuss what signs you can look for from the teens in your life, as well as how to get help for teens who are suffering. Read on to find out more about the dangers of depression and anxiety in teenagers and who can help them.
What Causes Depression and Anxiety in Teenagers?
Teenagers are under a tremendous amount of pressure. They experience social anxiety, performance anxiety, numerous types of fears and anxiety, and have lives centered around academics.
Many of us feel social anxiety in certain situations. Teenagers today have more situations that contribute to social anxiety. While they do experience it in person, many of them never get away from it.
Social media exposes teenagers to social anxiety even in the comfort of their own homes. Research shows that twice as many teenagers see a psychological expert than in the 1980s.
Performance Anxiety and Academic Pressure
There is a culture built around achievement that teenagers live with. They are pressured to succeed. Expectations are high. Standardized testing, class ranking, and workloads all add to the pressures teens face.
Pressures to perform during school, in extracurricular activities, on the field, the stage, or anywhere else are greater, too. Social media takes performance pressure up a few notches, also.
Social media provides us with incredible reach to connect with people. However, it also provides an avenue for bullies, trolls, advertisers, and predators to reach our teenagers. Teens who have free reign to be on social media all the time and go unchecked are at even greater risk for depression and anxiety.
What Are the Signs of Depression and Anxiety in Teenagers?
Parents who notice changes in a teenager’s attitude or behavior should stay alert and look for other symptoms. The following are some common signs of depression and anxiety:
- Anger over more things
- Agitated or irritable
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
- Isolating from friends and family
- Need for constant validation
- Lack of focus
- Negative outlook
- Lack of energy
- School refusal
- Sleeping excessively or never
- Substance abuse
- Noticeable changes in weight and eating
- Lack of interest in personal hygiene
- Risky or reckless behavior
- Any talk of or plan for death or suicide
This is not an exhaustive list. There are other signs. Generally, if parents get a sense something isn’t right, they’re often correct.
What Can I Do If My Teenager Is Struggling with Depression and Anxiety?
Try to be patient. If you go in with “guns blazing” and demanding to know what’s wrong, your teenager will likely shut down. Open the door for communication in a positive manner. Make your teenager feel safe.
Get help for teenagers struggling with severe depression and anxiety. Check with your child’s school and their doctor for what resources are available to you.
Seek counseling for your child. Make it ok for them to open up to this other person. Do not lay any guilt on your teenager if they won’t talk to you. You just want to get them help.
You can also enroll your child in a treatment center. While there are outpatient treatment centers that are ideal for some teens, others have more severe cases that are better suited for residential treatment centers, such as Elevations RTC.
Elevations RTC is a residential treatment center that helps adolescents who struggle with their mental health. They work with teens to help them figure out who they are and navigate their lives in healthier manners. Many kids stay at Elevations RTC for 8 to 10 months.
At Elevations RTC, teenagers with everything from depression and anxiety to learning disorders and substance use problems are taught how to overcome their challenges.
Many teens struggle with their self-esteem and confidence. Elevations RTC offers programs that help build a child’s confidence. They’re taught how to be resilient and proactive in their own lives.
Teenagers around the world deal with depression and anxiety every day. Adults need to know what signs to look for so they recognize when help is needed. Whether a teen just needs an ear to listen or they need some time in a place like Elevations RTC, they must get the help they need for their mental health.