How Does Counseling Help Relieve Depression in Adolescents?

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Depression is a common and serious illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Between 10 to 15% of teenagers have some symptoms of teen depression at any one time. Depression is associated with high levels of stress, anxiety, and in the worst case scenarios, suicide. There’s no single known cause of adolescent depression. There are many contributing factors to depression but we have many methods to help cure depression. One of those methods is Psychotherapy, the treatment of mental disorder by psychological rather than medical means.

Depression is a serious mental health problem that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities. Teen depression affects how teenagers act, behave and feel. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that about 3.2 million 12- to 17-year-olds have had at least one major depressive episode within the past 12 months. (Lohmann, 2019) Teen depression can be diagnosed by evaluation of yourself, peers, and family. Seeking medical attention can help with depression. Doctors will determine the type of depression the teen has.

There are different types of depression such as chronic depression, major depression and bipolar disorder. These are types of depression that teens as well as adults can be diagnosed with it. Depression is diagnosed by asking questions and reflecting and discussing the answers from the patient. This is called a screening. Once the screening is over, the patient is diagnosed with the type of depression he or she has. It is then the doctor’s duty to review all information related to depression. Doctors offer ways to cope with depression. Being a teen with depression seems to be hard. Teenagers face many problems that often times place them in dark spaces.

Some of those issues include, low self-esteem, obesity, bullying along with different types of abuse. Some teens struggle due to situations that stem from inside the home. For instance, after a conversation with a fellow peer, showed me that teens are batting depression and sometimes we would never know. My fellow peer, who I shall call John Doe, discussed in our conversation how he hated being at home, due to the constant fussing and fighting between the parents. The father used alcohol to cope with his pain. Fighting his wife was a way of fighting his demons. John Doe, became a victim of depression. He is now in a stable home with the Grandmother.

There he has peace and less worries but he still stresses about the wellbeing of his parents. John Doe’s Grandmother too him to seek help for his depression. He now attends counseling. Some treatments are counseling and medications; however, the most effective treatment is counseling. Symptoms of teen depression are difficulty making decisions, difficulty concentrating, loss of interest in food, and feeling of hopelessness. Some other symptoms are withdrawal from friends, anxiety, and complaint of pains. There are many factors that contribute to teen’s depression like major events, serious illnesses, gender, and genetics.

One of the contributing factors of depression is major events. Some of the major events are abuse, life change, and peer pressure. Abuse is the treatment of a person or an animal with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly. There are many types of abuse, mentally, verbal, and physical. They are all different levels of abuse, but no abuse is any better than the other. Mental abuse or in other words, Emotional Abuse is a type of abuse that doesn’t leave physical marks; however, it leaves internal marks. Some symptoms of Mental abuse are your partner criticize/ judge you negatively, you feel ashamed/guilty most of the time, and the partner refusing to talk about the issue. This abuse affects your confidence, self-worth, confidence, and dignity.

Verbal abuse is being abused by words or phrases being thrown to wreck your self-identity. Some signs of verbal abuse are you have to walk on eggshells, your self-esteem and confidence is shot, and you feel like you can’t win. “More than 1 in 4 teenage girls in a relationship (26%) report enduring repeated verbal abuse” (Pomerleau). Mental and Verbal abuse are connected since they both don’t include physical touching, also the victim of this abuse self-identity is being wrecked in both situations. The last type of Abuse is physical, an intentional act causing injury or trauma to another person by way of bodily contact. Some signs of physical abuse is believing you deserve to be hurt, feeling afraid of your partner, and feeling emotionally numb. Physical abuse is something that can start off slow and get worse as time goes by. This type of abuse is the only one that shows up more visible.

Life changes is another major event that contributes to depression. There are many types of life changes that can cause teens to sink into depression. Some of those things are family changes, and body changes. Body changes can sometimes good but they can also be bad. Body changes usually happen between everybody’s pre-teen and teen years; however, most of the changes happen during teen years. This process usually starts between the ages of 8 and 13 and lasts a few years, this phase is called puberty.

Puberty doesn’t affect everybody the same way, it sometimes mold people to be tall, small, wide, or even skinny. Growing up in today’s society people expect for girls and boys to be made a certain way. What I mean by this is that they expect girls to be shaped a certain and they expect the same for boys. Then if they aren’t then they are socially wrong. Growing up not knowing that your body isn’t supposed to be the same as everybody can cause young adults to look down on themselves. This can cause them to sink into something we call depression.

Family changes can be parents getting divorced, remarried, or even changing their sexuality. “The last 50 years have seen a dramatic rise in divorce (the U.S. has the highest of any industrialized nation), cohabitation rather than marriage, ‘blended’ families of both gay and heterosexual design, and children born out of wedlock (more than half of all African-American children).” (Ken Fuchsman, 2017). Family changes can cause emotional distress on children. Some can cause children to go through social problems in school, and in life.

Some social problems stem from bullying from peers and being singled out in school. For instance, children going through grade school depend on this time to make friends and learn more about themselves. “Mature emotionally and socially, children must interact with people outside the home.” (Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp, 2018). I couldn’t imagine but I know that getting singled or shunned away from the other kids isn’t a great feeling. This can bring down your self-esteem and make you think that you aren’t good enough, which causes them to shut down from others. This is something that no child should ever have to go through. This allows all types of emotions and allows depression to creep in. “A third category of concerns is that children of lesbian and gay parents will experience difficulty in social relationships.” (APA, 2017)

These simple little things as a child can heavily influence what you have to deal with as an Adult. “These interactions typically occur with close relatives, friends, neighbors, and people at child care sites, schools, churches, and sports teams or other activities.” (Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp, 2017). Something else that children may have to experience with these type of changes is they may have a hard time finding their sexuality or discovering who they want to be. “One is that the children of lesbian and gay parents will experience more difficulties in the area of sexual identity than children of heterosexual parents” (APA, 2017). This type of thing can cause children to look down upon themselves and think lowly of themselves. Both of these contributing factors can cause teens to become confused and once teens become confused, they start to let other things influence them.

“They may become depressed, anxious, or become perhaps overly responsible kids who end up caring for their parents instead of getting cared for by them.” (Emery, 2006-2017). Children of divorced parents can sometimes feel as if they are the problem or as if need to act out in order to get attention. Divorce also affects a child not only mentally but emotionally too. “Divorce clearly increases the risk that children will suffer from psychological and behavioral problems. Troubled children are particularly likely to develop problems with anger, disobedience, and rule violations.”(Emery, 2006-2017). “Life as you know it changes when your parents split up. It’s only natural for a kid to rebel against the change in some way” (Wong, 2014).

Peer pressure is also a major event that can affect whether a child could possibly end up with depression or not. Peer pressure is the influence from members of one’s peer group. Growing up and experiencing High school many kids will experience this at least one time. “Recent peer pressure statistics indicate that more and more teens are being pressured” (Teen help, 2016). There are two different types of peer pressure positive and negative. Positive peer pressure is the side of peer pressure where your friends encourage you to do good things. Some of these things would be joining clubs, getting a job, or even doing more things to see the world.

Negative peer pressure is the bad thing about peer pressure, this type of pressure is broken down into two different levels direct and indirect. Indirect pressure is when a person hears/sees certain trends going on around them and feel the need to try it. For example, an indirect pressure could be a young teenager seeing all their friends smoking. Their friends may not be persuading them to do but seeing all their friends do something may have them curious to do the action. pressure. Now we have direct pressure where a person is getting told by somebody else to do something or to try something for example.

Both of these different types of negative pressures can cause teens to fall into a depression stage or almost cause them to go into one. I say this because teenagers do not like telling their friends no and standing their ground. “A teen is afraid of ridicule and losing his/her friend(s) if he/she doesn’t do what is asked” (Hardy). When Teenagers follow what their friends say, eventually they led themselves into trouble. Even if most teenagers say no to their friends, their friends make them feel bad. Some friends disown them as their friend. This stage in a teenager’s, life is where they are still deciding who they are, so for this to happen to them it makes them question their identity.

Most of their questions make them seek to determine who they really are. They wonder if they are the problem and how to fix the problem. Situations such as this can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts. Many adolescents have taken their own life due to bullying and trying to fix issues within themselves. They feel suicide is the better option, but in reality, they should seek help to deal with the issues. “When peer pressure demands that they act in ways with which they are not comfortable, it can cause teens to suffer from low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression” (Yael, 2015).

Even though there are many contributing factors that can cause adolescents to have depression there is also a solution that many people overlook. This solution that many people overlook is called Psychotherapy, this method is a very effective method that many people don’t think about. Many people think that this method is pointless because, all you are doing is talking to someone. What they don’t know is that these trained people have different ways to help them solve their problems. Some of the ways are cognitive-behavioral therapy, and psychoanalytic and humanistic therapy.

Cognitive therapy is therapy where the therapist makes the client do things to try to get over their fear or problem. Some examples of this could be some having someone that is scared of something attempt to do more things with their fear. The therapist also will have the client read certain things and get an understanding on their fear. Psychoanalytic therapy is where most therapist talk more closely to their clients. “Therapy can help a person solve significant issues in their life, can greatly reduce and even eliminate symptoms of depression and anxiety, can improve relationships, social skills, and even work performance and motivation” (Heffner,2017).

Throughout out of all the major events that I talked about and how they cause depression, Psychological therapy is the number one thing someone needs especially adolescents. “Psychotherapy helps people with depression” (Goldberg, 2017). Hopefully after reading this paper people will see how effective this method can be for many reasons. Also that it should not be overlooked and underestimated.

Cite this paper

How Does Counseling Help Relieve Depression in Adolescents?. (2021, Apr 14). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/how-does-counseling-help-relieve-depression-in-adolescents/

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