What Teenage Depression Treatment Options Exist?

Battling depression is tough for a person of any age. It can disrupt your daily life, make you uninterested in things you normally put time and energy into and affect your performance in school or work. But if you’re a teenager, life is already hard enough, and depression unfortunately is all too familiar in this age group. Fortunately, teenage depression treatment options exist aplenty. 

It’s a turbulent time in your life when you’re in the process of turning into an adult and learning to manage responsibility and more mature emotions. The last thing you need is to be crippled by depression while you try and navigate your life and future. But finding the right effective treatment options can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. 

Plus, many teens are hesitant about bringing up their depression or knowing if they even are depressed. When you’re an adolescent, you already have fluctuating moods and increased pressure to take on more responsibilities and behave a certain way. It’s easy to want to give up or fold under the pressure. 

But the good news is that help is just one or two steps away. In this blog, we’ll break down the wide range of depression treatment options that have helped countless teens in the past, as well as weigh the pros and cons of each. In the end, you should have a comprehensive guide to seeking depression treatments for yourself or your potential teenage children or loved ones. 

How Common Is Teenage Depression?

Teenage depression is wildly common in the United States. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 13 percent of teens ages 12 to 17 (or 3.2 million) in the United States said they had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year, up from 8 percent (or 2 million) in 2007. 

Also, the total number of teenagers who recently experienced depression increased 59 percent between 2007 and 2017. Many blame social media for the uptick. According to the Child Mind Institute, “teenage and young adult users who spend the most time on Instagram, Facebook and other platforms were shown to have a substantially (from 13 to 66 percent) higher rate of reported depression than those who spent the least time.”

It’s clear depression is rising among adolescents in the United States. The good news is more options are available than ever before, and mental health is a higher priority currently than it ever has been. The pandemic allowed everyone to take a step back and prioritize it, and the response has been positive as we take productive steps forward in speaking out and spreading awareness.

Inpatient Vs. Outpatient Care 

The severity and weight of your depression will determine if you should seek inpatient or outpatient care. Inpatient care requires patients to stay inside a facility or treatment center, generally for a longer period of time to meet certain clinical criteria. 

Outpatient care is the opposite of inpatient care; the patient shows up regularly for treatment but can come and go whenever they want and it’s usually less intensive than inpatient care, and more short-term. There could also be a combination of the two where a patient fulfills some inpatient care and then transitions into an outpatient model or vice versa. 

Outpatient Treatment Options

Outpatient treatment options are much more common and generally are easier and less expensive to achieve. This could look like attending regular outpatient therapy appointments (once a week, for instance), or trying out a few different antidepressant medications to see if they relieve symptoms or work for you. 

Pros of Outpatient Care: 

  • More freedom and less commitment 
  • Accessibility 
  • Cost 
  • Versatility 
  • Scalability 
  • Adaptability

Cons of Outpatient Care: 

  • Less holistic treatment options 
  • Less treatment options available in general 
  • Potential longer timeline for recovery 
  • Less supervision 
  • No around-the-clock support 

If you’re curious about giving outpatient treatment options a try for your depression, it could be an easy way to begin seeking help and dipping your toe in the water. At the very least, a mental healthcare professional can help answer questions or concerns and provide a consultation. 

Inpatient Care Options 

If you think you have more severe symptoms of depression, or have anxiety, substance abuse issues, post traumatic stress disorder issues, bipolar issues, or any number of other mental illnesses or conditions, consider inpatient care. 

Inpatient care provides a holistic, around-the-clock support system and environment for patients to reside in while they address their mental health. Generally, this involved staying in a rehabilitation center for teens or adults that are equipped with expert staff and coping and healing methods. It’s a longer-term scenario that aims to handle more severe cases or provide relief that outpatient services could not. 

Pros of Inpatient Care: 

  • Constant support and supervision 
  • The ability to focus completely on your recovery 
  • Long-term treatment options 
  • Variety of treatment options and activities 
  • Group and solo therapy sessions 

Cons of Inpatient Care: 

  • Less freedom to come and go 
  • Less socialization with friends and family 
  • Cost 
  • Time 

If you think you need inpatient care services, there are many different treatment center options available to you. Many treat many more conditions along with depression, and these centers could save a person’s life with their treatment programs. 

Conclusion – What Teenage Depression Treatment Options Exist 

More treatment options exist than ever before. As the pandemic did drastically affect the mental health of many people across the globe, it also spread awareness towards prioritizing that mental health. 

Don’t ever feel like there’s nowhere for you to turn. Whether you invest in outpatient care as a first step, or feel the need to submerge yourself into inpatient care facilities, there are many different tools available in these methods to help you on your road to recovery, including: 

  • One-on-one therapy sessions 
  • Group therapy sessions 
  • Prescribed medication 
  • Physical exercises 
  • Creative outlets 
  • Nature and outdoor excursions 
  • Positive coping exercises
  • And more 

Taking the first step towards improving your mental health is essential. Make sure you’re seeking help for yourself and not because of pressure from others, commit time and energy to yourself and be honest about what will move the needle for you. Always ask for help and seek treatment options; it costs nothing to learn more information, and it could save your life.


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