Teenagers and Depression
As many as 25% of all teenagers with ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder with/without Hyperactivity, ADD) are clinically depressed. All three types of this disorder; Primarily Inattentive, Hyperactive-Impulsive, and Combined Form, are capable of producing depression in teens. Depression is a serious disorder, capable of depriving a person of much needed energy, mental clarity, objectivity reasoning (a crucial skill for this age group), optimism, clear judgment, and enjoyment of life. It can sometimes, tragically, build to even suicidal levels. It is very important to be able to recognize the signs of depression in these young people, and in the cases where it is being primarily produced by ADHD, correct this cause.
The stereotypical image we all have of depression is usually someone who is sad, tearful, listless, and lonesome. Teenagers with depression often don’t look like this at all. They don’t typically display gloom, criticize themselves, or talk about feeling hopeless like adults do.
Teens with major depression are often negative and anti-social; feelings of wanting to leave home or run away are increased. They may have a strong sense of disapproval or being misunderstood by peers, siblings and parents. They may also change their basic emotional tone, and become aggressive, grouchy, and restless. Often a depressed teenager will stop paying attention to personal appearance, or may even adopt the “uniform” of social sub-groups that claim despondency and depression as a way of life. There may be an increased, unfounded sense of being unloved or rejected by loved ones.
Girls have a tendency to internalize performance difficulties more often than boys do, although this happen in many boys too. A girl will more frequently see failure as a sign that she is a bad, or deficient person. She will often make the unfortunate leap, that she is therefore unlovable. This is another way in which ADHD can trigger significant depression.
Boys (and some girls) will often become aggressive with their parents and/or peers, be more agitated at home, and get into trouble at school or with the law. Parents are often frustrated, angry, or confused by this kind of behavior. Some parents respond by becoming stern disciplinarians, engage in power struggles, or may even put the teenager down, which only serves to increase feelings of depression. Some parents feel helpless, and withdraw form the parenting and help their children need, further isolating them.
If there are some of the other signs of ADHD present (difficulty concentrating, organizing, completing tasks, and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity) along with the depression, it is a very good idea to have the teenager tested for ADHD. If the disorder is present, it is likely treatable without medication, and the depression should be alleviated too. Lifting huge burdens of the teen’s head and heart (not to mention Mom’s, Dad’s, and the rest of the family.
Neurofeedback is a highly effective, drug free, safe, non-invasive and painless procedure in which the child learns to retrain the brain, correcting the problem. Once training is complete, no further treatment is necessary.
To request information on the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD, ADHD), Mild to Moderate Autism Spectrum Disorders, Sleep Disorders, Chronic Depression, Chronic Anxiety, and Peak Performance Training contact:Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari Alta Neuro-Imaging Neurofeedback 1075 Yorba Place Suite 105 Placentia, CA 92870 714.990.6536