It is heartening to note that many parents are making efforts to acquire a good amount of details and information about teen depression. But, at the same time, different types of myths still prevail in the minds of a large number of parents. It is necessary that these parents should have clear and right information. Let us have a look.
Myth # 1: There is no difference between teen depression and adult depression
Many people have a wrong notion teen depression and adult depression have all common features. The fact is that there are some common features but they are not exactly the same. Adults suffering from depression exhibit anhedonia due to which they may lose interest even in those things they were enjoying earlier. In the case of teens, they may continue to enjoy all their activities but may not pursue them at all. Depressed adults have a tendency to feel sad whereas depressed teens may have irritability and not sadness.
Myth # 2: Loss, trauma and abuse cause depression
Almost all the depressed teens may not have experienced any trauma or abusive circumstances. Though it is true that a loss, a setback or an abuse may act as triggers, experts deny that they are the causes. Even sadness that arises from grief, demoralization, etc. may not cause depression. It is a mental or psychiatric disorder but the problem may not go away even if there are changes in the circumstances. To quote an example, a depressed teen may continue to have this disorder even if the bullying that caused the problem has stopped.
Myth # 3: Depression shows that the affected teen has weak character
If you think that depression shows that the affected teen has weak character, you cannot be more wrong. It is a psychic disorder or an illness like other illnesses like diabetes, etc. So, it does not reveal a personality. Even highly successful and motivated people may be affected by depression and they may also lose track of their passions. Only through appropriate treatment, their problem can be reversed.
Myth # 4: Positive thinking may help teens come out of their depressed state
A person who is able to snap out of his or her sadness through positive thinking is not considered to be a depressed person. In fact, a depressed person cannot make use of the benefits of positive thinking. For example, a child affected by depression may deduce negative inferences whereas a normal child may not have any such fantastic inferences. That is why experts come out with what is called cognitive-behavioral-therapy for tackling the negative ideas, beliefs and inferences of such depressed children.
Myth # 5: It is dangerous to administer medications
The benefits of medicines for teen depression have been proved sufficiently but, parents and doctors should make it a point to monitor the progress. The government has also stipulated that antidepressants should carry labels that indicate that they can induce suicidal thoughts in these people. But, if the medicines are used in the right manner, there may not be any such problems also. The fact is that if depression is not treated on time and properly, it may lead to suicide attempts.
Myth # 6: Being moody is teenagers’ quality and they may outgrow this problem
Teens face a lot of stress both socially and intellectually. So, there may be profound and continuous changes in their brain functioning. This may cause moodiness in them. But, being moody or demoralized cannot be classified as depression. Only if they are moody and sad always, it can be construed as depression. Signs like irritability, avoiding fun and entertainment, changes in eating and sleeping habits, loss of focus, etc. will show that a teen is having the problem of depression.
There are several other misconceptions about teen depression. Parents will do well if they acquire good knowledge about this problem so that they can help their teens appropriately.