Depression in teen girls can sometimes present itself very differently than in teen boys. This can be a result of upbringing or the pressures of society and gender identity. Even now, as our society is changing its views on gender roles, it can create depressive disorders as teens are figuring out their place in the world. We previously explored what depression in teen boys looks like. Now, we venture into how depression affects the average teenage girl.
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What Does Depression In Teens Look Like?
Depression in teens can look the same as for the adults in their lives. They may isolate, become moody, and sleep patterns shift. Causes for depression in teens can include:
- Academic pressure
- Peer pressure
- Brain chemistry
- Major life changes
- Traumatic experiences
- Inherited traits
- Hormonal changes
- Learned negative thinking
While it doesn’t seem like these would cause a difference between boys and girls, it can.
How Does Depression Differ For Girls?
Depression in girls can vary simply based on hormone influxes. While boys also experience hormone influxes, the hormones involved can be different. The fact that teen girls are menstruating also creates hormone changes that teen boys simply won’t experience. Girls are more likely to experience bouts of sadness and cry over the slightest things. They may not seem serious to you but at the moment, they are crushing.
Like boys, girls are not “supposed” to show certain emotions. If they lash out in anger, they are being “dramatic”. If they cry, they are “overly emotional”. You see the pattern that develops! Who wants to express themselves to their closest persons when their emotions are invalidated?
Effective Treatments For Teen Depression
Fortunately, there are effective treatments for teen depression, for boys and girls. These treatments look the same but can be personalized for individual experiences. These treatments include:
- Partial hospitalization’
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
Partial hospitalization is for teens who need extra assistance with their mental health. They spend their days in our facilities and have a day full of treatment. They go to group therapies, individual psychotherapy, and medication management. They spend the evenings at home with their families and practice what they have learned there.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an effective tool for reframing negative thought patterns. This is where they identify the ways of thinking that have been harmful to their mental health. Then they learn how to change their thinking. This is also where they learn how to identify their emotions, express them in a healthy way, and cope with them.
For some teens, medications are helpful in managing the symptoms of their depression. Medications that are used in conjunction with therapy are the most effective solutions. In some cases, a teen can eventually wean off of medications as they successfully use the tools we teach them.
You Can Help Your Teen Girl At Home
You don’t have to rely solely on a medical team to help your teen get through depression. Families who try together can overcome serious obstacles. If you are feeling helpless, be sure to include some family therapy so that you can all be on the same page. However, at home, you need to have some family activities that are pleasant and help with bonding. These activities include:
- Outdoor activities – hiking, camping, bicycle riding, swimming
- Family fun activities – bowling, roller skating, mini-golf
- Family game night – board or card games
- Family movie night – go out or stay in
- Chip in with a chore – is there closet insane? Offer to help them out so they aren’t overwhelmed. Pro-tip, leave them in charge of how it is done.
- Cook dinner together
- Join/play a sport together
- workout/go to the gym together
- Family Music Night – play music from your era and theirs and learn the dance crazes
How We Can Help You
At Basepoint, we understand the struggles your teenage daughter faces every day. If you are feeling lost and helpless, we can help. Contact our professional team immediately and we will tell you what your options are.