Teenage Depression Counseling Fayetteville AR
(479) 442-4080 ext 111
Connie R. Grubesich
1 . Battling Teenage Depression
By Jake Paul Fratkin, OMD, LAc
My teenager suffers from bouts of depression that sometimes last more than a week. We’ve tried Paxil and Wellbutrin, which seemed to work for a while, but I’m concerned about long-term side effects. Can you offer any suggestions?
Teenage depression can be a very serious matter and can lead to self-mutilation, drug or alcohol abuse, attempted suicide, or even suicide. As such, it needs to be addressed quickly. The use of Western pharmaceutical medicine can help in a short amount of time, especially under the guidance of an experienced medical psychiatrist. In situations where a pattern of low self-esteem or a troubled family environment exists, psychotherapy can serve as a useful adjunct to Western medicine as well.
Often, however, the problem lies not just with the teenager’s environment or self-esteem but, instead, with neurotransmitter deficiencies aggravated by hormonal changes during puberty. In these cases, one should recognize Western prescription medicines as a reshuffling of neurotransmitters—they increase one by decreasing another, sort of a “robbing Peter to pay Paul” approach. Natural medicine offers a deeper method that aims to boost neurotransmitter levels. You can do this with nutritional medicines, including certain amino acids, vitamins, enzyme cofactors, and Western herbs. I would look for holistic practitioners who work with this approach. They can include medical doctors, psychotherapists, doctors of naturopathic medicine, chiropractors, or practitioners of Oriental medicine.
Within TCM, we work to boost neurotransmitters back to natural levels. Instead of using nutritional components directly, our approach relies on a mixture of different Chinese herbs to regulate underlying organs and functional systems.
The type of depression most prevalent in teenagers involves the liver. It occurs because of stagnant qi (energy) and blood in the liver. That stagnation inhibits the free movement of qi and blood in the body. Consequently, a sort of paralysis of intention, effort, and hope results, leaving the person feeling that things will never change. Liver stagnation can occur from the release of hormones during teen maturation and can be compounded by environmental chemicals, prescription drugs such as birth control, and over-stimulation of the nervous system. The Chinese herbal approach uses herbs that move and regulate liver qi and blood. Acupuncture can accomplish the same effect if done on a weekly basis, and practitioners often combine the two approaches.
Some teenagers have bipolar-2 syndrome, a mixed pattern exhibiting both anxiety and depression. In these cases, we regulate both the liver for depression and the heart/shen for anxiety. This approach can be quite effective for the long term but may require months of treatment to achieve relief of depressive symptoms.
Another type of depression within Chinese medicine—lung-type depression—results from grief or a shock due to loss and can...
Copyright 1999-2009 Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living/Alternative Medicine/InnoVisi...
2 . Teens and Depression: Five Behaviors Parents Ignore
1. Substance Abuse - teens may use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate their depressive feelings. Never dismiss drug and alcohol use as "experimentation."
2. Rebelliousness - yes, teens do test boundaries. However consistent rebelliousness at home and school is likely a manifestation of emotional unsteadiness, feelings of being misunderstood, or a desire to fit.
3. Body Image Issues - body image is a concern for both teens and adults. In today's ultra-vain world, teenagers also feel pressure to look a certain way—taller, thinner, and fit. Negative body image is hand in hand with depression and self-confidence.
4. Cutting - cutting is a way that some people, especially kids and teens, cope with the pain of depressive feelings, past trauma, and emotional withdrawal and isolation. Cutting is a cry for help that should never be dismissed or dismissed.
5. Suicide Gestures & Remarks - "I hate this house! I just want to die." During an argument, a parent might dismiss these remarks as teenage attention-seeking or dramatics. Any ideas, comments, and attempts related to self-harm or suicide should be taken seriously. The Center for Disease Control reports that suicide is the third leading cause of death, behind accidents and homicide, of people aged 15 to 24.
Parents and others (teachers, guidance counselors, family members) in contact with teens displaying these behaviors should immediately consult a mental health professional who can appropriately engage and assess the teen.
Attribution: Licensed psychotherapy practice in Miami focused on providing individual and family counseling and psychotherapy services to teenagers/adolescents and adults suffering from depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and related disorders. Specialized interest in integrating mental health services and traditional human services (case management, care coordination). MIAMI PSYCHOLOGY & HUMAN SERVICE COLLABORATIVE, INC.
The opinions expressed by the Correspondents and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the nSphere or any employee thereof. All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. nSphere makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. For any questions or to become a Correspondent yourself, please contact us at 617.933.7516.