Don’t Hide It, Get Help: Therapy for Depression in Teenagers

Teen depression is widely misunderstood. Therapy for depression in teenagers is also widely misunderstood. People often think if you have depression, you’re doomed to always be sad. Many people also think that if you seek out treatment, you’re broken and there’s something wrong with you.

Both of these are common misconceptions about depression that need to be squashed. The stigma against depression and therapy for depression in teenagers is causing many young people to go on without the proper treatment they need to lead healthy lives. Psych Central recently published an article discussing the stigma against depression and what it’s doing to us.

Fighting the stigma

We have this idea that people with clinical depression look sad or disheveled or beaten down–but oftentimes, people with depression are the ones “putting on a brave face” or hiding it with a smile. A sort of “smiling depression,” they call it in the article. So, while you think your best friend or your brother or your sister is fine because they don’t “look” depressed–they could be struggling and desperately need therapy for depression in teenagers. 

Dean Parker, Ph.D.–a psychologist that specializes in mood disorders–explained smiling depression, “Individuals appear happy to others, literally smiling, while they experience depressive symptoms.” While this may not be cataloged in DSM-5 as an actual diagnosis, it’s commonly used by psychotherapists.

Many people do it in order to keep their true feelings from becoming a “burden” on others. Many people do it because they feel that they need to be “perfect” and they have no reason to be “sad.” But you don’t necessarily need a reason for depression, which is what many people don’t understand.

A lot of this stems from the stigma attached to getting therapy for depression in teenagers–or really getting any mental health help at all. You’re viewed as “weak” if you seek out help for mental health issues, which is incredibly wrong. Mental health issues are not rare, they’re actually pretty common–what’s rare is someone seeking out treatment for those issues. Would you ever deny yourself medicine for a physical sickness? Few would say yes. If that’s so, then why do so many deny themselves help for their struggle? The stigma, of course, is the reason.

The only way we can begin to eliminate issues like “smiling depression” is by educating the public and our children about mental health.

Elevations RTC offers therapy for depression in teenagers

Elevations RTC is a leading residential treatment center for teens, ages 13 to 18, grappling with anxiety, depression, substance use, ADHD, teenage vaping, and other emotional or behavioral issues. We strive to help each student succeed and move towards a bright future.

For more information about Elevations RTCs therapy for depression in teenagers, please call .

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