10 Signs of Depression in Teen Boys

Recognizing the signs of depression in teen boys can help parents and educators discover and address a potentially debilitating mental health problem early on. Teen boys sometimes exhibit different symptoms of depression compared to girls or adults. Signs of depression in teen boys can include low temper, irritability, problems with memory and attention, a greater likelihood of an emotional outburst, and social isolation.

Teen boys may experience depression differently than girls, often exhibiting symptoms such as irritability, anger, social isolation, or reckless behavior.

It’s essential to understand the signs of depression in teen boys so you’re prepared to provide support at home or through a teen depression treatment program. Regular mental health screenings can help teens struggling with mental disorders get the support they need to thrive in early adulthood and beyond.

This article explores depression in teen boys.

Signs of Depression in Teen Boys

While teen boys feel just as empty, hopeless, and joyless as their female counterparts, depression is often underdiagnosed and overlooked in young boys because they tend to express these emotions outward rather than inwardly.

Some teen boys process their sadness through anger or impulsivity and are often less likely to express their feelings verbally through open communication.

Some boys may exhibit classic symptoms like sadness or hopelessness; however, many (if not most) instances of male teen depression are often underlined by anger and volatility rather than outwardly pronounced feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Here are the most common signs of depression in teen boys:

1. Withdrawing From Friends, Family, and Activities

Social withdrawal and isolation are still common symptoms among teen boys experiencing depression.

It’s important to note that teen depression can manifest in symptoms that aren’t always aligned with textbook definitions of depression. Scientists and researchers acknowledge that men and boys often suffer in silence.

Despite this, many young boys still exhibit typical symptoms of depression. These include withdrawal from social activities and a loss of interest in previously enjoyable hobbies.

Related: How to Help a Teen with Depression

2. Significant Changes in Eating and Sleeping Habits

Tracking a teen’s mental health can be difficult for parents. When should you differentiate between a severe mental health issue and normal teen behavior? The answer is to look for severe anomalies.

Diet and sleeping habits are two forms of behavior that can say much about a teen’s mental and physical well-being. If your teen’s sleeping habits and diet have dramatically worsened as of late, then they may be experiencing depression.

3. Persistent Sadness, Tearfulness, or Emotional Numbness

While teen boys are a lot more likely to hide feelings of sadness or associate sadness with weakness and thereby express their frustration and hopelessness through high impulsivity, risk-taking, and anger, they may still experience moments of tearfulness or long-term emotional numbness and total isolation.

Related: The Dos and Don’ts of Helping Teens with Depression

4. Noticeable Loss of Interest in Hobbies, Passions

One of the critical characteristics of a depressive disorder is anhedonia, or the loss of joy.

Things that used to be fun might elicit fewer feelings of joy or aren’t uplifting. Depression doesn’t just alter a person’s baseline but can also change their relationship with their hobbies, passions, and interests.

Watch for a loss of interest in old hobbies and difficulty finding new things to do instead.

Related: How to Motivate a Depressed Teenager

5. Decline in Academic Performance, Lack of Focus

There is a neurological aspect to depression and other mental disorders that tax the brain and affect cognitive abilities.

People who struggle with depression and anxiety are less likely to remember things they have learned and more likely to struggle with retaining new information. In addition, they have a more challenging time focusing on the task at hand, and a more challenging time with executive functioning (the ability to plan, prioritize goals, and adapt to daily life).

6. Frequent Irritability, Unexpected Anger, or Agitation

Boys are less likely to internalize their sadness and more likely to take it out on the world around them. While behavioral issues, irritability, poor emotional regulation, and anger aren’t definitive signs of depression, many boys who exhibit these behaviors are likely depressed.

7. Expressions of Hopelessness, Worthlessness, or Guilt

Irritability as a marker for male teen depression can help parents better identify signs of depression in their teen boys. Still, it’s important to keep a lookout for traditional symptoms of depression as well. Exhibiting feelings or remarks of hopelessness, worthlessness, and guilt is common among teens with depression.

8. Fatigue, Lack of Energy, and Motivation

Two of the most obvious physical symptoms of depression are fatigue and pain.

Keep an eye out for complaints about aches and pains with no physical origin or clear cause, constant fatigue despite getting enough sleep, and severe lack of motivation (including an inability to get out of bed on some days or extreme procrastination of basic tasks, including hygiene).

9. Sudden Drop in Self-Esteem, Confidence Issues

In teen boys, a sudden drop in self-esteem and emerging confidence issues can be significant indicators of depression.

This may manifest as increased self-criticism, a noticeable decline in confidence during social interactions, and a pervasive sense of worthlessness or inadequacy.

Parents might observe their sons showing less interest in activities they once enjoyed or withdrawing from social engagements they previously approached with enthusiasm. These changes can often be misunderstood simply as typical teenage behavior or moodiness. However, when these signs persist, they point toward a more profound, underlying issue.

Recognizing this drastic change is crucial as it provides an opportunity for early intervention and support, which can be vital in managing depression effectively.

10. Thoughts of Death, Suicide, or Self-Harm

While girls are much more likely to report suicidal feelings and feelings of low self-worth, most suicides are male. Among teens, boys are about three times as likely to die by suicide than girls in the same age group.

Because boys are less likely to talk about these feelings or reveal them to others, many of these suicides come as a surprise to friends and family. It’s important to continuously keep in touch with your teen’s thoughts and feelings and ensure that they don’t conflate sadness or emotional vulnerability with weakness, or mistake hiding one’s pain as masculine.

Teen Depression Treatment

Teen depression is more than just moodiness; it’s a severe mental health condition that can affect every aspect of a young person’s life.

At Visions Treatment Centers, we offer a nurturing approach to teen depression treatment, featuring personalized therapy sessions, family involvement, and a supportive community that fosters resilience and healing.

Envision a place where your teen feels understood and supported, where they can regain their strength and happiness.

Contact Visions Treatment Centers in Southern California to learn how our specialized programs can help your teen overcome depression and thrive.


While some boys may exhibit classic symptoms like sadness or hopelessness, many express their distress through irritability, anger, or other behavioral issues. Understanding these male-specific signs can help parents and educators address the debilitating issue of depression in teen boys.


What Not to Say to a Depressed Teenager

Understanding what not to say to a depressed teenager is essential to providing a welcoming environment that encourages open communication. Phrases that minimize their feelings or suggest quick fixes can be harmful. It’s vital to approach conversations empathetically, listen attentively, and validate their experiences. This approach fosters trust and shows them they’re not alone, paving the way for more effective support and understanding.

Communicating insensitively with a depressed teenager can inadvertently exacerbate their feelings of isolation and misunderstanding.

Misjudged words, even with the best intentions, might deepen their sense of alienation, making them feel more distant and less understood.

It’s imperative to cultivate an atmosphere of empathy and understanding, where every word is chosen carefully to ensure it conveys support, acceptance, and the promise of a safe space for expression. Whether your teen is beginning to display signs of teen depression or they’re currently reciting teen depression treatment, understanding how your communication affects them can help ensure you provide a warm, welcoming environment where they feel comfortable.

This article explores what not to say to a depressed teenager.

What Not to Say to a Depressed Teenager

Understanding what not to say to a depressed teenager is crucial in offering support and avoiding potentially harmful responses. Certain phrases or comments, even if well-intentioned, can exacerbate feelings of depression.

For example, you might feel the urge to offer simple solutions or exhortations by saying, “We’ll go for a few rounds in your favorite game, and it’ll cheer you up!” Trying to “cheer” your teen out of depression shows that you misunderstand what your teen is going through and aren’t trying to empathize with them. Here’s what else not to say to a depressed teenager:

Avoid Saying “Just Snap Out of It”

It’s normal for parents to feel frustrated when caring for a teen with a mental health issue like depression. Depression makes teens feel irritable, sad, and prone to isolation, even in the absence of any rational reason for sorrow. It’s frustrating for teens, too. No one wants to feel depressed. But it’s not their fault, and it’s not yours either.

There’s no easy solution or way out, though. Telling a teen to “snap out of it” implies that they’re not doing what they can to cope with their depression or that their mental health is simply an issue of perspective. Even if that were the case (which it isn’t), barking a demoralizing comment at your teen only makes them feel worse.

Related: How Does Depression Affect Teens?

Steer Clear of “Everyone Feels This Way Sometimes”

Yes, it can help to know that you’re not alone when dealing with something complex like depression. But minimizing what your teen is feeling by stating that it’s normal only serves to imply that they’re weak because they’re not coping well with these feelings that everyone seems to go through.

Statistically, less than a tenth of people struggle with a depressive diagnosis at any given time. The lifetime statistics for depressive episodes show that only about a third of all people will ever experience severe depression, even for a short time. Struggling with depression is not normal, even if other people struggle with it too. Telling your teen that others have fought and overcome depression can be empowering – telling them that everyone goes through it, however, isn’t.

Related: 10 Encouraging Facts About Teen Depression

Don’t Minimize Their Feelings with “It’s Just a Phase”

Studies indicate that while depressive episodes are finite, they are also often recurring. Implying that this is just something your teen must get through or that it’s temporary and will go away on its own isn’t addressing the damage that a depressive episode can do while it’s ongoing.

Depression increases a person’s risk for non-suicidal and suicidal self-harm, affects their focus and cognition, and correlates with other mental health issues if left untreated, ranging from anxiety disorders to substance use. A severe depressive episode always warrants serious attention.

Avoid Making Comparisons to Others’ Situations

Some benefits of group therapy and peer support for teens include knowing that you’re not alone in your struggles or recognizing your own experiences in others. To a degree, seeing how other people deal and have dealt with depression can be helpful.

However, it’s less helpful when the comparisons made aren’t with other people who have mental health issues but completely unrelated challenges and personal struggles. It’s dangerous to try and make analogies between depression and other challenges in life, let alone ones unrelated to mental health.

Don’t Dismiss Their Feelings with “You Have So Much”

Gratitude can be a helpful tool when managing your emotions, building mental resilience, and continuing therapy after treatment. But for someone struggling with acute feelings of depression, listing all the things that are worth living for just might not be enough.

Your teen could have friends, good grades, a lovely home, and loving parents. Yet despite that, they still feel inexplicably sad when they have every reason to be happy. Pointing out why they shouldn’t feel sad doesn’t address their ongoing emotional pain.

Avoid “You’re Just Looking for Attention”

Many teens with serious mental health issues are accused of being attention-seekers. To a degree, attention-seeking is normal for teens with depression. They recognize that they need help. But they might not know what kind of help or from whom.

They might not even be able to verbalize how they feel, let alone eloquently explain what kind of psychiatric modality they’d like to seek out in a clinical treatment setting. Shutting down a teen’s cry for some kind of positive or helpful response from others only serves to cement the idea that they’re alone with their pain.

Don’t Say “You’re Being Selfish”

Trying to bully a teen into gratitude emotionally only serves to amplify their feelings of shame and guilt, which are already prevalent in teen depression.

Teens who are depressed will naturally assume that everything is their fault and undermine their achievements – further piling onto those feelings only buries them in deeper anguish. Don’t do that. Instead, consider that your teen is feeling sad without any control over why or how – and find positive things to hold onto, whether it’s something that made them smile recently or something they achieved despite their depression.

Explore Teen Depression Treatment at Visions

Depression can be a severe mental health issue and may require professional teen depression treatment through a teen treatment center.

Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers offers evidence-based therapies, compassionate care, and a supportive environment to help teenagers overcome depression.

Contact us today to schedule a free assessment.


Understanding what not to say to a depressed teenager will ensure your communication is received positively by your teen.

The impact of our words on a depressed teenager cannot be overstated. By choosing our language with empathy and care, we can avoid exacerbating their feelings of isolation.

Creating a supportive environment encourages open dialogue, fosters trust, and facilitates healing. Through understanding and thoughtful communication, we can truly make a difference in their journey towards well-being.


How Do I Know if My Teenager is Depressed?

How do I know if my teenager is depressed? It’s a question we hear from concerned parents often. Depression can take on different forms in teens, from irritability and a tendency to isolate to problems at school, chronic oversleeping, or even changes in hygiene. Differentiating between an expected change in mood and a depressive disorder can be difficult sometimes, so parents should take note of the most common signs of teenage depression.

Depression and anxiety disorders affect teens more than any other kind of mental health problem. Adolescence tends to be the onset for most lifelong or chronic depressive disorders, so recognizing the signs and symptoms early can help parents and caregivers navigate treatment and symptom management with their teens.

It’s essential to look for sudden changes in teen behavior, such as withdrawal from activities they once enjoyed, increased irritability, and changes in sleep or appetite. In the long term, teens may exhibit low self-esteem, lack of motivation, and difficulty concentrating in school or other activities. This article explores a common question we hear from parents: How do I know if my teenager is depressed?

What is Teen Depression?

Depression is more than sadness or grief. A depressive disorder can be categorized into one of several different “mood disorders”, ranging from conditions like major depressive disorder (often also called “clinical depression”) to persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia), bipolar disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Mood disorders can have different causes. Some forms of depression can be linked to environmental factors, from trauma to stress. Some forms of depression are the result of an underlying, not yet understood health condition, as can be the case for PMDD. Teens can develop long-term depression after episodes of grief or loss. Depression is also very hereditary.

To be diagnosed with a form of depression, a teenager would have to experience a consistently low mood – with no apparent cause or reason – for at least a month.

How Do I Know if My Teenager is Depressed?

Teens experiencing depressive symptoms might try to hide the way they feel, or they could be outwardly aggressive due to frustrations with their mood and negative thinking. Some researchers even believe that depression is underdiagnosed in teen boys (depression is more commonly found in girls) because there may be gender-specific symptoms that are less well-known. So, how do I know if my teenager is depressed?

Recognizing the Signs of Depression in Teens

The most unmistakable sign that something is wrong is a sudden and prolonged change in behavior. Many mental health issues can start with rapid changes, whether it’s a loss of interest in all hobbies or a severe drop in grades. While depression is a common mental health issue, it’s not always easy to recognize. Other problems in life can cause feelings of sadness or even fatigue and sleeplessness, and not all of them are signs of a mental health issue.

However, when many symptoms co-occur and when they remain consistent across environments – showing up at home, at school, and among friends – then it’s more likely to be a mental health issue.

Most signs of teen depression can be categorized into emotional symptoms, behavioral symptoms, and physical symptoms. Let’s go through each of them.

Emotional Signs of Teen Depression

Emotional signs of teen depression can include:

  • Feelings of isolation, loneliness, worthlessness, and consistent sadness.
  • Crying, sometimes out of nowhere.
  • Short fuse/irritability.
  • Thoughts about dying.

Depression is characterized by consistently low mood. If a person’s baseline mood is expected to be neutral, someone who is depressed will feel sad most of the time, and sadness becomes their new “normal”.

Behavioral Signs of Teen Depression

Behavioral signs of teen depression can include:

  • Loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable, and no new hobbies.
  • Social isolation and difficulty connecting with others.
  • Drastic changes in eating habits (eating much more, or much less).
  • Drastic changes in sleep patterns (oversleeping, unable to get out of bed).
  • Frequently talking or joking about suicide or going away forever.
  • Frequent risky or reckless behavior, even for teen standards.
  • Downplaying symptoms, refusing help.

The behavioral signs of depression range from acting out to withdrawing completely. Teens going through depression may feel like nothing matters anymore and respond accordingly.

Physical Signs of Teen Depression

Physical signs of teen depression can include:

  • Complaints of physical fatigue or unexplained pains with no other symptoms (usually headaches or stomach aches).
  • Potentially violent or abusive behavior.
  • Substance use problems.

Depression can cause unexplained feelings of fatigue and pain or exacerbate existing mental and physical health problems. Among teens with chronic health problems or teens in treatment for a disease, depression can worsen physical outcomes when left untreated.

Talk With Your Teenager

Only a doctor can diagnose someone with a depressive disorder, but for many teens, the idea of going into treatment or being assigned a label can be difficult to adapt to. It’s important to talk to your teen, ask questions, and listen to them. How have they really been feeling lately? Are there thoughts and feelings that they don’t want to feel, that won’t go away? Are they looking forward to anything in the near future, or are they thinking about the future at all to begin with?

When to Seek Professional Help

If your teenager’s complaints resemble the signs mentioned above, then talk to them about visiting a counselor or therapist together. Make sure they know they’re not alone with their thoughts.

A mental health professional can help your teen better understand why they’re feeling the way they feel, and more importantly, how to respond within the framework of a therapeutic treatment process.

Contact Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers to learn more about our teen treatment center in Southern California.

Teen Depression Treatment at Visions

Are you looking for support for your teen? Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers is here to help and specializes in providing teen depression treatment.

We offer residential treatment programs, outpatient treatment programs, and many other mental health plans tailored for teens struggling with mental health problems like depression in the greater Los Angeles area.

Our evidence-based therapies, experienced staff, and nurturing residential environment help teens receive support.

Take the first step towards your teen’s recovery today by contacting us at Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers.


The signs and symptoms of teen depression include emotional signs, behavioral signs, and physical signs. Sometimes, depression can be harder to spot and identify in teens who try to mask their pain.

Talking with your teen, checking up on them frequently, and discussing therapy options together can help them get the help they need. Contact us at Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers for a free assessment.

Write a three-sentence conclusion and encourage parents to schedule a free assessment with Visions near the end.


9 Warning Signs of Adolescent Depression

Common warning signs of adolescent depression include mood changes, withdrawal from family and friends, declining grades, and loss of interest in activities. Parents should approach their teens with empathy, open dialogue, and avoid judgment. It’s crucial to seek professional help from mental health experts like those at Visions Treatment Centers, who offer comprehensive care for adolescent mental health and substance abuse.

As a parent, it can be challenging to distinguish between typical teenage moodiness and the more serious warning signs of adolescent depression.

Failing to recognize these signs can lead to worsening mental health and missed opportunities for early intervention and support from a teen depression treatment center. Early recognition of these symptoms is crucial in providing timely support.

In this article, we explore nine warning signs of adolescent depression so you know when it may be time to reach out to a teen treatment center for support.

Warning Signs of Adolescent Depression

Recognizing the warning signs of adolescent depression is a crucial aspect of ensuring timely and effective support for teenagers. Often, these signs can be subtle and easily mistaken for typical teen behavior, making it imperative for parents and caregivers to be observant and informed.

Understanding what to look for is the first step in identifying a potential issue. Once these signs are noticed, the next crucial step involves approaching the situation with empathy and seeking professional guidance, such as the comprehensive care offered in Southern California at Visions Treatment Centers, to address the needs of the adolescent effectively.

Here are crucial warning signs of adolescent depression:

1. Persistent Signs of Sadness

Sadness is a normal and crucial human emotion, an inescapable part of basic empathy – but we often experience sadness as a response. In cases of depression, sadness – or, more accurately, a general low mood and lack of joy – becomes the default. Teens experiencing depression as a mental health disorder struggle to feel happy for more than a few fleeting moments and generally don’t feel like life is worth living. 

2. Irritability and a Shortened Temper

Not all cases of depression are explicitly highlighted by fatigued behavior and a meek mood. Especially among teenage boys, depression is usually highlighted by irritability, a shortened temper, and a tendency to lash out more often. Researchers believe that depression may be underdiagnosed among boys because we don’t always screen primarily angry kids for other depressive symptoms. 

Related: The Dos and Don’ts of Helping Teens with Depression

3. Consistently Poor Sleep

Teens aren’t generally known for stellar sleeping habits, especially because teenagers may have a biological inclination to stay up later than children or adults. However, depression often correlates with insomnia and chronic oversleeping, which further contributes to poor mood and cognitive problems. 

Related: How to Get Depressed Teenagers Out of Bed

4. Loss of Interest in Old Hobbies

A crucial symptom of adolescent depression is anhedonia or the loss of joy. Teens with depression can still laugh at a joke or find something amusing, but they no longer feel happy or struggle to find happiness in places they used to find it. They give up on old hobbies, drop old interests, and often cease contact with old friends. 

Related: How to Motivate a Depressed Teenager

5. Chronic Fatigue

Persistent feelings of fatigue or low energy levels, even after adequate rest, are common among teens with depression. Being depressed is draining. It can cause physical and mental lethargy, and it’s hard to fight that feeling when your brain seems to tell you that nothing matters anyway. Behavioral scientists even posit that laziness or procrastination are signs of depression (NAMI).

6. Changes in Focus and Concentration

Deterioration in school performance, declining grades, or a lack of interest in academic activities are common in adolescent depression. Depression can affect the brain to the point that it becomes harder to retain learned information or access a teen’s cognitive capacity. Smart teens start to struggle with concepts at school as their depression becomes worse. Their memory fails because of how depression affects the brain. It becomes a vicious cycle. 

7. Inexplicable Pains

Depressive disorders are linked to our perception of pain to the point that mental health therapy can help people with chronic pain feel better. The inverse is true as well – as depression gets worse, a person can begin to feel physical discomfort that wasn’t there before. In teens, this often results in inexplicable headaches or stomach aches with no apparent medical cause. 

8. Social Withdrawal

Isolation and social withdrawal are also common signs of adolescent depression. Teens who struggle with depression might feel that they don’t contribute to the lives of those around them, or they’re disconnected emotionally from others and don’t feel like they’re part of a group despite being right in the middle of one. 

Again, there’s an inverse relationship here, where prosocial behavior results in a lower risk of depression, and stronger social bonds and individual relationships can temper a person’s depressive symptoms. But for teens who start to isolate, it can become harder and harder to convince them to socialize again. 

Why is Teen Depression Such a Problem?

Being a teenager has never been easy. Aside from external pressures, teens are also struggling with the emotional and physical challenges of adolescence.

They’re changing, a day at a time, and rapidly. They’re in an awkward social transition between childhood and adulthood. Among teens with susceptibility to mental health issues – studies show that genes often play a role in mood disorders – adolescence is the usual onset period for symptoms of severe depression, including self-loathing, consistently low mood, feelings of emptiness, and deep hopelessness. 

Putting the worst consequence aside, untreated depression can also result in slowed cognitive development, poor academic performance, and worse outcomes in the job market, correlating to a higher risk of substance use and poverty. Recognizing teen depression is important because childhood symptoms of depression often persist into adulthood without treatment. 

Related: How Does Depression Affect Teens?

Depression Treatment for Teens

Have you noticed changes in your teen’s behavior or mood that worry you? Recognizing these shifts is the first step in addressing adolescent depression.

At Visions Treatment Centers, we specialize in treating teen depression with a compassionate, holistic approach. Our programs are specifically designed to meet the unique needs of adolescents, fostering healing and growth.

If you’re seeing signs of depression in your teen, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Contact Visions Treatment Centers today, and let us help you and your teen navigate this challenging time with expertise and care. Your proactive step could be the turning point towards a brighter future for your teen.


Depression can be hard to identify and harder to treat. While we know that at least one-tenth of school-age teens struggle with severe depressive symptoms and about one in six teens experiences a significant depressive episode per year, we also know that not many teens are willing to come forward for treatment and that many are still worried about the stigma attached to depression and mental health problems in general. 

Furthermore, while more teens today know about depression than ever before, most people’s understanding of depression is still limited. There are half a dozen common mood disorders, and we’re still finding out more about how depressive symptoms can differ between genders, for example. 

Learn more about how we can help you or your loved one seek treatment for depression and other mental health problems at our Visions Treatment Centers. It’s important to understand and recognize the common warning signs of adolescent depression.


10 Encouraging Facts About Teen Depression

Several encouraging facts about teen depression offer hope and understanding. Recent years have seen significant improvements in treatment approaches, increased awareness, and a notable decrease in stigma. These developments have paved the way for more effective and accessible care for adolescents struggling with depression.

The landscape of teen depression is evolving, with positive changes bringing new hope to countless families.

There’s a tangible shift towards better mental health support for teens, from advancements in therapeutic techniques to a broader societal understanding. With increased awareness and innovative treatment options, the journey towards recovery has become more accessible and practical.

In this article, we explore 10 encouraging facts about teen depression.

10 Encouraging Facts About Teen Depression

It’s heartening to see that teen depression, once a largely misunderstood and stigmatized condition, is now receiving the attention and support it deserves.

Across the globe, communities recognize the importance of mental health and are taking steps to address it effectively. There is a growing consensus that depression is not a weakness but a treatable condition.

Here are 10 encouraging facts about teen depression.

1. The Reduction in Stigma

The reduction in stigma surrounding teen depression marks a pivotal change in mental health care.

Studies indicate a significant shift in public perception, with a greater understanding and acceptance of mental health issues. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that increased dialogue in media, schools, and public forums has contributed to this change. This stigma reduction encourages teens to speak openly about their struggles and fosters a more supportive environment.

As a result, there’s an increase in seeking timely and appropriate care, which is crucial for effective treatment and recovery.

2. Increased Awareness Around Depression

Increased awareness around teen depression has led to early identification and intervention, which is crucial in managing this condition.

Educational initiatives and public health campaigns have significantly influenced this change. The American Psychological Association (APA) highlights the impact of these efforts, noting a rise in awareness among teens, parents, and educators.

This heightened awareness ensures that symptoms are not dismissed as mere ‘teenage angst’ but are recognized and addressed with the seriousness they warrant, paving the way for timely and effective treatment.

3. Advances in Depression Therapy

Recent advances in depression therapy have significantly improved treatment outcomes for teens.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) are notable examples, with studies showing their effectiveness in addressing the specific challenges of adolescent depression.

The American Journal of Psychiatry reports that these therapies, focusing on altering negative thought patterns and enhancing coping strategies, have higher success rates compared to traditional methods.

These advances represent a more targeted and effective approach to treating teen depression, contributing to better long-term outcomes and quality of life.

4. Improvement in Medication

There has been a significant improvement in medications used to treat teen depression. Newer antidepressants, known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), have been developed with a focus on minimizing side effects while maximizing efficacy.

The Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology notes that these medications are better tolerated and have a lower risk profile compared to older antidepressants.

This improvement has been critical in ensuring adherence to medication regimens, a key factor in successful treatment, and in making medication a more viable option for a broader range of teens experiencing depression.

5. Success Rates of Teen Depression Treatment

The success rates of teen depression treatment have seen a promising increase. Research indicates that up to 80% of teens significantly improve with comprehensive treatment, including therapy and medication.

A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry highlights that early and consistent treatment is crucial in these success rates. This improvement is a testament to the advancements in therapy techniques and medication management, offering hope and a more straightforward path to recovery for teens and their families.

6. Support Networks for Teen Depression

Support networks play a vital role in the recovery process for teens with depression.

These networks, including peer groups, online forums, and community organizations, provide a platform for shared experiences and mutual support.

According to the American Psychological Association, participation in support groups can improve outcomes by reducing feelings of isolation and providing practical advice and emotional support. These networks complement formal treatment by fostering community and belonging, integral to the healing process.

7. Educational Programs for Teen Depression

Educational programs in schools and communities have significantly contributed to the awareness and management of teen depression.

These programs, often backed by mental health organizations, provide valuable information on recognizing signs of depression, effective coping strategies, and avenues for seeking help. The

National Institute of Mental Health reports that such educational efforts have led to improved mental health literacy, early detection, and intervention, which are critical in effectively addressing teen depression.

8. Holistic Approaches to Teen Depression Treatment

Holistic approaches to teen depression treatment emphasize treating the individual as a whole, combining traditional therapies with alternative methods.

This approach often includes mindfulness, yoga, art therapy, and nutritional counseling. According to a study published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing, holistic treatments can improve emotional regulation, self-esteem, and overall mental health.

These therapies offer teens additional tools to cope with depression, catering to a broader range of needs and preferences.

9. Technology and Treating Teen Depression

Technology has become a significant asset in treating teen depression. Teletherapy and mental health apps offer convenient and accessible options for therapy and support.

The American Telemedicine Association reports that teletherapy has been particularly effective in reaching teens who might otherwise lack access to mental health services due to geographic or social constraints. Apps focusing on mood tracking and cognitive behavioral techniques provide additional support, ensuring constant access to helpful resources.

10. Teen Depression Treatment is More Accessible

The accessibility of teen depression treatment has dramatically improved, with more options available than ever before.

Teen treatment programs, like those offered at Visions Treatment Centers, offer intensive care in a structured environment, focusing on the unique needs of each teen. Additionally, outpatient treatment options provide flexibility, allowing teens to continue with their daily routines while receiving consistent therapy and support.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the expansion of these services has made it easier for families to find the right kind of help for their teens, ensuring that more adolescents have access to the care they need.

Related: 9 Warning Signs of Adolescent Depression

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to teen depression, several questions often arise. Here, we address some of the most common queries to provide clarity and understanding.

Can teen depression be effectively treated?

Yes, teen depression can be effectively treated. A combination of therapy, medication, and support from family and peers has been proven to help. Tailored treatment plans, including therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy, are particularly effective. Early intervention and continuous support play key roles in successful treatment outcomes.

What are the signs of depression in teens?

Signs of depression in teens include persistent sadness, loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, difficulty concentrating, and withdrawal from friends and family. In severe cases, there may be thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

How can I support a teen struggling with depression?

Supporting a teen with depression involves listening without judgment, encouraging open communication, and validating their feelings. It’s essential to encourage professional help and offer to assist with finding resources. Maintaining a supportive, understanding environment at home and being patient as they navigate their treatment can also be incredibly helpful.

Are there specific therapies that work best for teen depression?

Specific therapies, like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy, have shown effectiveness in treating teen depression. These therapies focus on changing negative thought patterns and improving communication skills. The choice of therapy often depends on the individual’s specific needs and circumstances.

Is medication always necessary for treating teen depression?

Medication is not always necessary for treating teen depression. It is typically considered when symptoms are moderate to severe or if there’s little response to therapy alone. The decision to use medication is made on a case-by-case basis, considering the teen’s specific symptoms, preferences, and overall health.

Explore Teen Depression Treatment at Visions

If you or a loved one is struggling with teen depression, Visions Treatment Centers is here to help.

Our team of experts provides compassionate, comprehensive care, ensuring each teen’s unique needs are met. With a blend of innovative therapies and a supportive environment, we’re dedicated to guiding teens toward a brighter, healthier future.

Reach out today to discover how we can support you on this journey to recovery.


The Dos and Don’ts of Helping Teens with Depression

By understanding the dos and don’ts of helping teens with depression, parents can approach their teens in a way that’s more effective. While your instinct is to protect and fix things, it’s essential to recognize that depression is complex. Parents need to balance support with respect for their teen’s individual experience. Knowledge of the dos and don’ts is a significant first step in providing effective support.

Depression in teens is a challenging and sensitive issue, requiring a careful balance of support, understanding, and boundaries.

As a parent, it can be overwhelming to discern the best way to help your struggling teen. The path to supporting a teen with depression isn’t always clear, but with the right knowledge and approach, you can make a meaningful difference in their lives.

In this article, we explore the dos and don’ts of helping teens with depression.

What Parents Should Know about Teen Depression

Teen depression is a serious mental health issue that goes beyond typical adolescent mood swings. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 4.1 million American teens had at least one major depressive episode in 2020.

It can manifest in various ways, including persistent sadness, loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, or changes in sleeping and eating patterns. Teens may also exhibit unexplained physical symptoms like headaches or stomachaches.

It’s crucial for parents to recognize that teen depression is not a weakness or something that can be overcome with willpower – it requires professional intervention.

Understanding the risk factors, such as family history, trauma, or bullying, can also be helpful. Teen depression can significantly impair a teenager’s ability to function in daily life and, in severe cases, can lead to self-harm or suicidal thoughts.

Early detection and support are vital. By being informed, parents can take proactive steps in identifying signs of depression and seeking appropriate help for their teen.

Related: 12 Common Teen Depression Symptoms

The Dos and Don’ts of Helping Teens with Depression

Navigating the complexities of teen depression requires a nuanced approach.

As a parent, your role is pivotal in providing the right kind of support and environment for healing and growth. From maintaining open communication to ensuring they receive professional help, the approach you take can significantly impact their recovery journey.

Here are the dos and don’ts of helping teens with depression.

What You Can Do

To effectively support a teen with depression, it’s essential to foster a supportive and understanding home environment.

Listen Actively: Active listening involves fully concentrating, understanding, responding, and remembering what your teen says. It’s about giving them your undivided attention and acknowledging their feelings without judgment. This approach shows that you value their thoughts and emotions, creating a safe space for open communication.

Promote Healthy Habits: Encourage your teen to adopt healthy habits like regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and sufficient sleep. These habits not only improve physical health but also have a significant positive impact on mental well-being. A structured routine with these elements can provide stability and a sense of control for teens battling depression.

Provide Unconditional Support: Offering unconditional support means being there for your teen without conditions or expectations. It’s about accepting them as they are and showing love and support regardless of their mood or behavior. This unwavering support helps build their self-esteem and assures them they’re not alone in their struggles.

Educate Yourself: Educating yourself about depression is crucial to understanding what your teen is going through. Learn about its symptoms, treatments, and ways to support someone with depression. This knowledge not only helps in providing appropriate support but also in empathizing with your teen’s experience.

Be Patient: Patience is key when dealing with teen depression. Recovery is a process that takes time and can have ups and downs. Being patient shows your teen that you understand the complexity of their situation and are willing to support them through their healing journey at their own pace.

Encourage Professional Help: Encouraging your teen to explore professional help is vital. Mental health professionals can provide the necessary teen depression treatment and guidance. It’s important to communicate that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness, and it’s a crucial step towards recovery.

What You Should Not Do

When helping a teen with depression, it’s vital to avoid certain behaviors that could hinder their progress.

Don’t Dismiss Their Feelings: It’s essential not to dismiss or trivialize your teen’s feelings. Depression is a serious condition, and their emotions are valid and real. Avoid saying things like “just cheer up” or “you have nothing to be depressed about.” Acknowledge their pain and struggles, showing them that you take their feelings seriously. This validation is crucial for building trust and understanding.

Avoid Punishment for Depression-Related Behavior: Recognize that certain behaviors, such as withdrawal, irritability, or a decline in school performance, can be manifestations of depression. Punishing your teen for these behaviors can exacerbate their feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. Instead, approach these changes with empathy and understanding, seeking to understand the root cause rather than responding with discipline.

Don’t Force Conversations: While open communication is important, it’s also crucial not to pressure your teen into talking before they’re ready. Respect their need for space and time to process their feelings. Let them know you’re available to listen whenever they feel ready to talk. Forcing conversations can lead to further withdrawal and resistance to sharing.

Avoid Overwhelming Advice: Bombarding your teen with advice or trying to fix their problems can be overwhelming and counterproductive. It’s better to offer guidance and support rather than solutions. Allow them to make decisions about their treatment and recovery process. Your role is to support and empower them, not to solve their problems for them.

Don’t Ignore Warning Signs: Take any signs of self-harm, suicidal thoughts, or major changes in behavior seriously. These are critical warning signs that require immediate attention. Do not dismiss them as typical teenage drama or a phase. Seek professional help immediately if you notice any alarming signs. Early intervention can be lifesaving in cases of severe depression.

Teen Depression Treatment

Are you feeling overwhelmed trying to help your teen navigate through depression? At Visions Treatment Centers, we understand the complexity of adolescent mental health.

Our team of professionals offers comprehensive care tailored to each teen’s unique needs. With our support, your teen can rediscover their strength and resilience.

Contact Visions Treatment Centers today to learn more about our teen depression treatment program.


Helping your teen with depression requires understanding, patience, and the right support. Now that you know more about the dos and don’ts of helping teens with depression, you can approach your teen in a way that supports their needs.

Remember, you don’t have to navigate this challenging time alone. At Visions Treatment Centers, we specialize in adolescent mental health and are here to offer the care and support your teen needs.

Contact us to learn more about how our teen depression treatment programs can help your family find a path to recovery and well-being.


How Common is Depression in Teens?

Depression in teens is increasingly common, affecting about 1 in 6 adolescents. This mental health condition can manifest through various symptoms, including persistent sadness, loss of interest in activities, and changes in appetite or sleep patterns. Recognizing teen depression early and exploring teen depression treatment can have a profound impact on the overall well-being of a teen. 

It is no secret that depression among teens is common. In 2017, for example, more than one in every ten teenagers said they experienced at least one major depressive episode in the last year. Among teen girls alone, it was one in five. The recent COVID pandemic doubled those numbers

It’s not just a matter of becoming aware of an all-time trend – while awareness of mental health issues has grown over time, we are seeing more than just a growth in teen depression. Teens are also increasingly suicidal, anxious, and more likely to struggle with other mood disorders, personality disorders, and life-threatening eating disorders. We can’t blame it all on greater awareness – so why are more teens depressed than before? 

So, how common is teen depression? Keep reading to discover just how common depression is among teens, and how depression treatment can help support teens’ mental health.

How Common Is Teen Depression?

Roughly 16 percent of teens reported at least one depressive episode in 2023. More than two years removed from the start of the pandemic, over two-thirds of US high school students reported that schoolwork was more difficult, and over half reported emotional abuse at home. 

Things were already on the rise before COVID, however. Only about 8 percent of teens reported a depressive episode in 2005. 

In addition to an overall rise in rates, depression is affecting different teen demographics disproportionately. A short overview of the statistics shows that, while girls are more likely to experience depressive symptoms than boys, LGBTQ+ teens are more likely to struggle with depression than their heterosexual peers unless they receive parental support

Among racial and ethnic groups in the US, the groups most likely to experience a major depressive episode were biracial and American Indian/Alaskan Natives, as well as White adults. Further study shows that, while rates of single depressive episodes were lower among African Americans, they were far more likely to experience long-term depression (56 percent vs. 38 percent among White populations) and more likely to struggle with severe or debilitating depressive symptoms. 

Why Is Teen Depression Common?

Numerous different factors affect depression. These are risk factors – shared factors among teens with depressive episodes that may have contributed to the condition. Risk factors for depression include: 

  • Genetics
  • History of abuse/trauma (including war and natural disasters)
  • Socioeconomic problems
  • Parenting style
  • Lack of supportive environments
  • Media influence/gender norms
  • Victimization/bullying
  • Lack of access to support or mental health services

Furthermore, there are hypothetical reasons why depression rates have been on the rise in recent years. These include: 

  • Increased academic pressure
  • Social media and online peer pressure
  • A change in parenting styles (helicopter parenting)
  • Globalization (and its effects on the job market)
  • Changes in political climate (increased polarization)
  • Climate change
  • Increased wealth inequality (teens are disillusioned about the future)

Identifying Depression in Your Teens

Depression is a type of mood disorder characterized by a long-term, consistent feeling of low mood or sadness, regardless of a teen’s environment (i.e., they struggle with their mood at home as well as around friends or at school).

Teens often don’t know why they’re depressed or struggle to find a cause or reason. Depression often co-occurs with other mental health issues, particularly anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and substance use problems. Some signs of depression among teens include: 

  • Consistent lethargy
  • Frequent tearfulness or sadness
  • Persistent feelings of hopelessness
  • Feelings of isolation
  • Boredom with current hobbies
  • Loss of interest
  • Lack of motivation for anything
  • Loss of pleasure (anhedonia)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Lowered self-esteem
  • Sensitivity to rejection and failure (including irritability)
  • Low communication/self-isolation
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
  • Self-harming behavior or suicidal behavior
  • High-risk behavior (reckless driving, unprotected sex, etc.)

Treatment and Protective Factors

The first-line treatment for depression includes talk therapy and antidepressant medication, particularly SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). 

SSRIs do not eliminate depressive symptoms but can sometimes help mitigate or manage these symptoms while in therapy. Long-term talk therapy and a better, more supportive environment are often the most relevant factors in the successful management of depressive symptoms. 

In cases of treatment-resistant depression, other treatment options become available.

Protective factors that can help mitigate the risk of depression can also be key in treatment. These include a positive parent-child relationship, better communication between parents and teens, an authoritative (not authoritarian) parenting style, better stress management options, a healthier social connection, and supportive environment (within the school and local community), and access to mental health resources (counseling and professional help). 


Teen depression has become increasingly common for several reasons. The factors behind the rise in teen depression range from the potential exacerbation of mental health issues by social media and online victimization, to an increase in feelings of personal isolation (and loss of community), as well as greater environmental and political stressors (social and financial inequality, climate change, an increasingly hostile and extremist political landscape, gun violence, anti-LGBT violence). 

Furthermore, despite an increase in understanding of what depression is, what it looks like, and how it might be treated, few teens get the help they need. Access to proper mental health resources is still limited, and teens are still pressured to find ways to deal with their mental health issues on their own before getting help. 

Parents, teachers, and peers alike can help support teens with depression by recognizing and acting on early signs of depression, championing access to mental health resources, and encouraging their loved ones to get professional help when it becomes available. At Visions Treatment Centers, we champion teen mental health treatments and provide access to residential treatment programs for teens with severe mental health conditions and substance use disorders. Visit our website to find out more. 


How to Get a Depressed Teenager Out of Bed

When you’re dealing with depression, even simple tasks like getting out of bed or putting on new clothes can feel like an insurmountable challenge. Motivation isn’t always enough. Routines, healthy habits, and professional treatment are important. Find out how to support your teen and get them the help they need to manage depressive thoughts and combat them effectively. 

A teenager struggling to get out of bed in the morning is fighting to find a reason to exist. They want to feel better, feel happier, do things, and experience joy. But with depression, it can seem like there’s a huge wall between what they want, and what they’re currently capable of. 

Pulling them out of bed might help get them on their feet when they otherwise can’t, but it’s not a good long-term solution. If you want to help your depressed teenager out of bed at a consistent rate, then you will need to help them address depression – and everything that comes with it. 

Is It Depression?

When it comes to getting a depressed teenager out of bed, stern voices and stiff arms will not help; what you need, first and foremost, is the patience of a saint. 

Depression is a difficult and insidious condition. It disguises itself as our own voice, doing nothing but bringing us down thought by thought. Neurologically, there are numerous different suggested pathological theories for how mood disorders like major depressive disorder develop – differences in the transfer of information across synapses, brain chemical deficiencies, imbalances, endocrine disorders. Some of these theories have more evidence than others, but there is no clear answer. 

In many cases, genes have a role to play. In most cases, there are environmental risk factors that exacerbate and reaffirm negative thinking, such as abuse, stress, grief, or poverty. Depression isn’t just like feeling sad – it’s about feeling low. Low energy, low mood, low self-esteem. That feeling remains consistent, even in the face of something to smile about. 

Signs and symptoms of depression in teens include: 

  • A constant low mood, at home, at school, and everywhere else. 
  • Loss of interest in old hobbies and activities. 
  • A sudden change in friends, or social isolation. 
  • A jump in reckless behavior and uncharacteristic risk-taking. 
  • A much lower self-esteem than usual. 
  • Restlessness, or oversleeping. 
  • Chronic mental and physical fatigue. 
  • Unexplained pains with no physical cause. 
  • Evidence of self-harm. 

Only a doctor can assess and diagnose a mood disorder like depression in a teen. If you are worried about your teen’s mental health, talk to them about visiting a mental health professional together. 

Related: 9 Warning Signs of Adolescent Depression

Open Communication

One of the best things friends and family can do to help address depression is to talk about it and talk about it openly. If you or another loved one have had experience dealing with a diagnosed mood disorder, then talk about how you felt. Emphasize sharing your feelings. Emphasize the fact that your teen is not alone, even among friends and family, for feeling inexplicably and randomly sad. 

Acknowledging that depression exists helps teens identify their negative thoughts and feelings with being depressed and begin isolating some of that negativity with the context of a mental health issue, rather than an inherent personal quality. Being depressed isn’t part of who your teen is – it’s something they’re experiencing. And there are ways to fight it. 

Set Realistic Goals

Sometimes, depression can spiral with a negative, recursive thought. A teen might get hung up on the fact that they can’t seem to get out of bed. They feel guilty and chastise themselves for being too powerless for something so “simple”. They feel empty and disillusioned. “Why even bother”, they might think. Then they turn over one more time. They wake up, and the cycle repeats itself. 

Goal setting can be a positive way to combat this line of thinking for teens with depression. We aren’t talking about long-term goals here, but short, realistic, daily to-do lists. Something like drinking a certain amount of water each day, or remembering to have a small breakfast, or consistently waking up at a certain time. 

You will need to help your teen set and achieve these goals, for a while – until they become routine. 

Establish a Routine

Short-term goals lead to healthy habits and a consistent routine. Prioritize elements in a routine that are proven to help manage negative thoughts: a healthy sleep cycle with enough daily rest, some exercise, and a better balance between a teen’s daily responsibilities and their personal recreation. Motivation comes and goes. But self-discipline and consistency can provide structure and a sense of stability – and help boost a teen’s self-esteem. 

Reinforce the Routine

There will be days when your teen won’t drink enough water. There will be days they can’t seem to fall asleep until late into the night, and struggle to wake up. There will be days where the routine breaks, the thoughts get stronger, and the feelings of failing – of being bad – creep back up. 

Don’t judge, don’t chastise. Your teen is doing more than their fair share of both, and it’s simply pushing them further down. When the routine breaks, help your teen get back into it. The sooner, the better. Be gentle. But be persistent. 

Seek Professional Help

Parents can do much at home to help support their teen. But if it becomes clearer that this isn’t just a depressive episode, but something more long-term, then it becomes important to consult a mental health professional. 

Involve your teen in their treatment decisions! Review your options together. Visit therapists or counselors. Learn about how different treatment options work together. 

Talk therapy and medication are effective first-line treatments for teen depression and can help teens bring their emotional baseline to a point where their healthy habits and routines – which you can reinforce at home – help build the emotional resilience needed to strongly resist another depressive episode in the future. 

Having access to mental health resources is also important when your teen decides that they need more help, or if they want to learn more about identifying symptoms when they appear. If you’re concerned about your teen’s mental health, consult a mental health expert who can provide guidance and support tailored to their needs. 

We at Visions specialize in providing residential care for teens with serious mental health issues, such as major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder. If your teen has been struggling with their low mood for a while, then consider giving us a call today.  


How to Help a Teen with Depression in 2023

It can be deeply distressing to watch a loved one struggle with depression. If your teen has been going through a depressive episode lately, it can be frustrating to know that your options for helping them are ultimately rather limited. But that doesn’t make you powerless.

Learning How to Help a Teen with Depression Together

Parents and other loved ones often underestimate the role they play in their teen’s depression treatment. Therapists and intensive outpatient care can go a long way towards developing a teen’s resilience towards depressive episodes, as well as introducing healthy coping skills, and getting started on a slew of important knowledge about recognizing the signs of a major depressive episode, and properly dealing with the stressors that can exacerbate such episodes.

But when all is said and done, teens come back home to their families, go back to school to hang out with their friends, and continue to live their lives with the people they’ve always known. It’s these existing support networks that are so crucial for the long-term healing of a teen with depressive symptoms.

Talk to your teen’s therapist or counselor about family therapy sessions. Engage in psychoeducation to learn more about depression and adjunct mental health issues. Be there for your teen, bringing them to and from therapy, and staying engaged with their mental and physical well-being over time. Even on days when it feels like your interventions and efforts aren’t doing much good, understand that they are.

Recognizing the Lesser-Known Signs of Teen Depression

It can be hard to recognize depression. Some signs and symptoms are more obvious and more well-known than others.
In addition to sadness, depression can result in body image issues, irritability towards friends and family, problems with hygiene, restlessness, insomnia, rapid weight gain or rapid weight loss, as well as excessive fatigue (no matter how much a teen rests).

Teen Depression and Self-Harm

There are a few things to keep in mind if you want to initiate a conversation about potential self-harm, or if you’re worried that your teen is frequently thinking about suicide. First, check in with them. Do so often. Not just to find out how they’re feeling physically, but how they’re doing in general.
Talk to them about school. About their hobbies. About friends or fond memories. About things that weigh heavily on their mind. Don’t start with an ominous “we need to talk”, or an ambush. Ask your teen how things have been going, while driving them around, or while preparing a meal at home. Pick a place you’re both comfortable with. You may also want to talk to a professional about your worries and take note of your teen’s behaviors or words, in case a more immediate intervention becomes necessary.

If you continue to worry for your child’s safety or believe that they might harm themselves, be sure to contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, by dialing or texting 988 or visiting their website, and get in touch with a trained counselor immediately.

Depression is one of the most diagnosed mental health issues worldwide, in teens and adults alike. On average, nearly every person in the US may know someone who has struggled with a depressive episode. Studies tell us that about 8.4 percent of all US adults experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2020 alone.

However, that leaves most of us no better equipped to deal with depression when it begins to affect us, or those we love. As such, we get plenty of questions from parents and other teens alike asking about depression.


Some of the most common ones include:

How can I approach a teenager who may be experiencing depression?

If you’re worried about the way your teen has been acting lately, or if you think you recognize some of their behaviors as signs of depression, then the first step should be to talk to your teen. Ask them how they’ve been feeling lately and talk about what they’ve been up to. Check in with them, time and time again.

What should I do if my teen opens up to me about their depression?

Listen to them. If you can relate or have experienced similar things as a teen, talk to them about your experiences. Sometimes, teens will want solutions or ways to “fix” how they’re feeling. If that’s the case, talk to them about looking for help together. Other times, they just want someone to listen to what they’ve been thinking, feeling, and holding inside.

How can I encourage a teenager with depression to engage in activities that they used to enjoy?

It can be hard to motivate a teen to do the things they used to like doing, especially if they’ve picked up new hobbies and interests. But when the issue isn’t a change of interest, but depression, it can be much harder. Bring it up, time and time again – not too often, but consistently. Consider trying out new things with them, as well.

Getting the Help

If your teen’s depression is getting worse, or if you want to learn more about adolescent depression treatment options, get in touch with us at Visions Teen Treatment or give us a call.


Even on days when it doesn’t feel like it, friends and family members are the most important people in a depressed teen’s life. Your continued support and attentiveness are key to making headway against some of the worst symptoms of depression. But don’t forget to take care of yourself, as well. It’s all too easy to begin to neglect your own needs when taking care of a loved one. If you want to learn more about helpful treatment plans for teens with depression, get in touch with us at Visions Teen Treatment.

Anxiety Depression

Missing School Because of Depression and Anxiety

Rates of anxiety and depression are rising among kids – and for some teens, the stressors and pressures of daily academic life are making it worse. Is the solution a return to homeschooling? Or can parents help their teens find a balance between their academic responsibilities and their personal needs?

Sadly, there is no universal answer. But targeted and personalized coping strategies, a revised schedule, and a greater emphasis on student mental health at schools across the nation might help deal with the issue.

Are Kids Missing School Because of Depression and Anxiety?

Some of them are. Researchers note that school attendance problems due to an existing mental health issue have become a rising concern among educators, especially after the pandemic. While many kids cherish the return to school and the opportunity to be among their peers, some teens are struggling to readjust – while most teens agree that not enough is being done to help deal with rising teenage mental health concerns.
A growing number of states have enacted new laws to allow a certain number of absences for mental health reasons, the same as a physical sick day. Yet sometimes, taking a few days off just isn’t enough.

It’s Okay to Miss School Sometimes

Helping teens by allowing them to take a few days off if they’re feeling particularly anxious or need time to collect themselves because of the pressure they’re feeling is a good first step towards acknowledging that kids, too, can experience burnouts, especially if they have a diagnosed mental health condition.

But when a few days off turns into a regularly scheduled string of absences, it’s clear that more needs to be done. Teens who take a day off and return to school more stressed than before – due to mounting schoolwork, increased deadlines, or missed lessons – aren’t getting much out of their day off.
Unlike a few sick days, where students return with the expectation that they’ll need to catch up on the lesson plan, a mental health day would sometimes need to be accompanied with a more thorough consideration for how a teen could better cope with their academic responsibilities while dealing with their anxious or depressive symptoms, from both parents and educators.

How is Mental Health Tackled in Your Child’s School?

As more teens are struggling with feelings of depression or anxiety, schools need to respond by providing greater access to mental healthcare resources, as well as employing more mental health professionals (such as qualified counselors) to help teens who need an adult to listen to their problems. How well equipped is your teen’s school to deal with mounting mental health issues among the student body? Are there any systems in place for helping teens who have a string of absences get back into the curriculum or continue to learn from home? What about counseling and other resources?

When to Consider Inpatient Treatment

If your teen’s mental health issues are getting in the way of their academic future time and time again, you may want to consider an alternative arrangement – especially if their symptoms are getting worse, and you don’t know how to help them. Some teen mental health treatment facilities offer accredited day school programs to help clients keep up with their peers while in treatment.


Parents and educators ask us different questions about the phenomenon of mental health problems and school attendance issues, like:

Is it common for students to miss school because of depression and anxiety?

It has become more common, yes. More and more students are reportedly feeling unfocused and preoccupied with their mental health struggles while attending school. In a 2020 Harris poll, an overwhelming 78 percent of polled teens said they feel that schools need to prioritize making mental health days available to students who need extra time to take care of themselves.

Are there alternative options for students who are unable to attend traditional school?

Long-distance schooling programs have been around for decades, and studies show that some students benefit greatly from learning at home or via a smaller facility, or an alternative schedule. It is crucial to ensure that your teen’s social health does not suffer because of alternative schooling. Research shows that a more diverse set of friends and acquaintances can be positive for a teen’s development and mental health, as well.

Are there any legal protections in place for students who need to miss school?

Only seven states currently have new laws in place to allow excused absences for mental health reasons, but that list may be expanding over time. Keep an eye out for such laws in your state or find out if they have already been enacted.

Is online schooling a viable option for students struggling with depression and anxiety?

There are pros and cons to an online or virtual classroom. While working and learning from home can benefit some students who feel anxious about school, and allow them to keep up with other peers in the same age group, it’s important not to let a teen’s social health deteriorate from a lack of contact with their peers.

Learn more about helping your teen deal with academic pressures and challenges while treating their depression or anxiety via our mental health treatment for teens at Visions Teen Treatment.


Missing school can have an impact on a teen’s academic success, as well as their social and personal wellbeing. While taking days off to focus on mental health can be beneficial, a string of absences can only serve to further worsen a teen’s school anxieties and drive a rift between them and their future. It’s important to work with administrators and educators to create a safer, welcoming school environment, foster a better understanding for mental health issues, invest in local mental health resources, and focus on building your teen’s support network in and outside of school. Together, communities can work towards ensuring early interventions for their teens, recognizing signs of academic burnout and depression, and empowering students to overcome crucial obstacles.

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