This chapter reviews the literature on adolescents' peer relations, close friendships, and romantic relationships in order to understand their implications for the development and maintenance of depressive symptoms and disorders. Peer relations, friendships, and romantic relationships : Implications for the development and maintenance of depression in adolescents. N2 - Adolescence is a critical period in development, marked by an expansion of peer networks, increased importance of close friendships, and the emergence of romantic relationships. AB - Adolescence is a critical period in development, marked by an expansion of peer networks, increased importance of close friendships, and the emergence of romantic relationships.
Peer relations, friendships, and romantic relationships: Implications for the development and maintenance of depression in adolescents Annette M La Greca , Joanne Davila, Rebecca Siegel. Abstract Adolescence is a critical period in development, marked by an expansion of peer networks, increased importance of close friendships, and the emergence of romantic relationships. Fingerprint Maintenance. Anxiety, and the withdrawal that may accompany it, is likewise a detriment to social and academic progress. But social learning is just as critical as academic learning in childhood and adolescence.
This is a time when a girl would normally be learning such things as how to be a daughter, a sister, a friend; with either depression or anxiety, she may miss or fall behind on these critical kinds of learning.
What causes mood disorders?
These deficits not only put her behind her peers, but in themselves they can compound her depression or anxiety. Anxiety is more likely to occur without depression than depression without anxiety. It may be that depression leads to anxiety—the negative state of mind of a depressed teenager lends itself to uncertainty.
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It may also be because the regions of the brain affected by anxiety and depression are close together, and mutually affected. Two serious problems that are directly associated with teenage depression and anxiety are suicidal thinking or behavior , and substance abuse. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24, and we know that most kids who commit suicide have been suffering from a psychiatric illness. Especially at risk are teenagers who hide their depression and anxiety from parents and friends.
Similarly, the majority of teenagers who develop substance abuse problems also have a psychiatric disorder, including, most commonly, anxiety or depression, which is another important reason to get treatment in a timely way. Two other problems associated with teenage girls—that is, occurring with greater frequency in girls than boys—are eating disorders and self injury, or cutting. Girls who have eating disorders often show no signs of depression; indeed, they are often very high-functioning, competitive girls who have a distorted body image, but not the symptoms of depression.
Fortunately, early involvement of health care professionals can shorten the period of illness and increase the likelihood of her not missing important life lessons. The most common treatment a mental health professional is apt to use is some form of cognitive behavioral therapy, and depending on how young the child is, it may involve teaching the parents as well. Cognitive behavioral therapy is based on the idea that a person suffering from a mood disorder is trapped in a negative pattern of thought.
Depressed kids tend to evaluate themselves negatively, interpret the actions of others in a negative way, and assume the darkest possible outcome of events.
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Similarly, a child suffering from anxiety is overwhelmed by fears of negative outcomes long before events occur. Hormones and stress can explain the occasional bout of teenage angst—but not continuous and unrelenting unhappiness, lethargy, or irritability. If you suspect that a teenager is suicidal, take immediate action! For hour suicide prevention and support in the U. To find a suicide helpline outside the U.
To learn more about suicide risk factors, warning signs, and what to do in a crisis, read Suicide Prevention. If you suspect that your teen is depressed, bring up your concerns in a loving, non-judgmental way. Focus on listening, not lecturing. Resist any urge to criticize or pass judgment once your teenager begins to talk.
The important thing is that your child is communicating.
Be gentle but persistent. Talking about depression can be very tough for teens. Acknowledge their feelings.
Simply acknowledging the pain and sadness they are experiencing can go a long way in making them feel understood and supported. Trust your gut. If your teen claims nothing is wrong but has no explanation for what is causing the depressed behavior, you should trust your instincts.
The important thing is to get them talking to someone. Depressed teens tend to withdraw from their friends and the activities they used to enjoy. But isolation only makes depression worse, so do what you can to help your teen reconnect.
Make face time a priority. Combat social isolation. Do what you can to keep your teen connected to others. Encourage them to go out with friends or invite friends over. Participate in activities that involve other families and give your child an opportunity to meet and connect with other kids. Get your teen involved. While your teen may lack motivation and interest at first, as they reengage with the world, they should start to feel better and regain their enthusiasm.
Promote volunteerism. Doing things for others is a powerful antidepressant and self-esteem booster. If you volunteer with them, it can also be a good bonding experience. Physical and mental health are inextricably connected. Depression is exacerbated by inactivity, inadequate sleep, and poor nutrition.
Unfortunately, teens are known for their unhealthy habits: staying up late, eating junk food, and spending hours on their phones and devices. But as a parent, you can combat these behaviors by establishing a healthy, supportive home environment. Get your teen moving! Exercise is absolutely essential to mental health , so get your teen active—whatever it takes.
Set limits on screen time. Teens often go online to escape their problems, but when screen time goes up, physical activity and face time with friends goes down. Both are a recipe for worsening symptoms.
Parent’s Guide to Teen Depression
Provide nutritious, balanced meals. Make sure your teen is getting the nutrition they need for optimum brain health and mood support: things like healthy fats , quality protein , and fresh produce. Encourage plenty of sleep. Teens need more sleep than adults to function optimally—up to hours per night. No one therapist is a miracle worker, and no one treatment works for everyone. Talk therapy is often a good initial treatment for mild to moderate cases of depression.