Teenage years are known to be some of the most emotional and challenging years of a person’s life. When it comes to starting high school, going through puberty, new friendship dynamics, and dating, teenagers lead a far from peaceful life. These stresses, although seemingly minor, can strongly affect a teen’s wellbeing. All teenagers may feel stressed at some point, but some stress can evolve into a more serious issue. There is a difference between stress and depression in teenagers, and knowing the difference is crucial.
Depression, a medical illness that affects 1 in 6 adults in their lifetime, can start to show up in a person’s teenage years. While studies show that brain chemical levels, as well as genetics, may play a role, major life events can also be a factor. Negative thought patterns, low self-esteem, and a stressful environment can trigger depression in teenagers particularly.
Is Your Son or Daughter Suffering?
You may be wondering if your teen is struggling with depression, or if they are simply going through a classically stressful time of life. Sadly, thousands of teens take their lives each year because they don’t know the difference between temporary and permanent emotions. If you think your child is suffering from depression, here are some warning signs:
- Withdrawal from friends and activities.
- Prolonged sadness or hopeless mood.
- Decreasing grades and poor performance in school.
- Lack of energy and extreme fatigue.
- Overreaction to criticism.
- Lack of concentration.
- Low self-esteem and negative thinking patterns.
- Changes in eating and sleeping patterns.
- Substance abuse.
- Problems with authority.
- Suicidal thoughts or actions.
There Is Hope
If some of these symptoms sound familiar, it is understandable to feel worried and overwhelmed. You may have tried to help countless times already, or perhaps you are just starting to realize your child could be depressed. No matter what the circumstance, however, you are not alone. With your support, they can get the help they need.
The start of the summer can be a dangerous time for a depressed teenager. With less social activity and more time on their hands, risky behavior and negative emotions can easily take over. For parents with jobs and commitments, it can feel daunting to worry about your child being home alone all day. Luckily, there is an answer.
At Pacific Quest, our wilderness therapy program is a unique and unmatched combination of both clinical and holistic practices. We utilize the undeniable benefits of nature while also providing clinical care. This combination is particularly helpful for teenagers suffering from depression, as it combines environmental and mental therapy to boost mood and creative new daily practices for a growing brain
Located on the Big Island in Hawaii, we focus on gardening, being outdoors, exercise, and developing a positive, symbiotic relationship with nature. Our innovative Sustainable Growth model incorporates individualized clinical care, horticultural therapy, and community living to meet our goal of whole person wellness in each of our patients.
Horticultural therapy and other holistic aspects of our approach are especially beneficial for teens suffering from depression. When they come to us, they may feel detached and therefore resistant to change. While other programs can be traumatizing and even insensitive, Pacific Quest focuses on the individual’s needs. We slowly integrate the beneficial aspects of exercise, an anti-inflammatory diet, healthy sleep patterns, time in nature, and more to make change in a gentle and positive way.
And while we love the therapeutic benefits of nature, we also believe in clinical therapy. Every teen that comes to Pacific Quest is assigned an experienced Primary Therapist who provides them with individual, group, and family therapy. The highly-trained, doctoral-levels clinicians at Pacific Quest give each teen a personalized treatment method that allows them the time and attention they need to truly heal.
The Best Time Is Now
If you are looking for a camp for a depressed teenager, you likely want something that deals with their issues head on, without being too harsh and possibly even harmful. At Pacific Quest, we understand that. That’s why our model also allows for more sustainable and dramatic improvement than clinical therapy appointments while still incorporating beneficial clinical practices.
Don’t wait any longer to get them the help they need. Summers can leave a teen’s mind too idle for their own good, allowing room for negative thought patterns and bad choices that stem from boredom. Help them grow and feel better this summer, changing in ways you never thought possible.