Signs That A Child Needs A Depression Treatment Program For Kids

Most children and teens experience a bout of mild depression during their adolescence. It's normal. Chronic depression indicates a need for standard depression treatment, such as psychotherapy or medication. Severe cases of teen depression may require a more intensive treatment method like a depression treatment program for kids. Here are some signs that a child may require inpatient care. 

What is Inpatient Depression Treatment?

An on-site depression program welcomes patients to prioritize mental health in a safe environment with round-the-clock surveillance by medical professionals. Adolescents who enter treatment must stay in treatment and adhere to the restrictive regulations until a psychiatrist releases them. This treatment is most common for high-risk patients.     

Signs a Teen Needs an Intensive Depression Treatment Program

Adults should take youth mental health concerns especially seriously as teens tend to be more impulsive than adults, potentially leading to an impulsive and life-altering (or life-ending) decision. The human brain doesn't finish developing until well into a person's 20s. The prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain associated with impulsive control, happens to be one of the last areas of the brain to mature 

Take action if you notice the following depression red flags in a child or teen:

Suicidal Ideation

5000 adolescents commit suicide every year, and significantly more actively plan their suicide but miraculously find a moment of peace or have their plan thwarted by an outside force. Teenage suicide attempts and detailed ideation constitute an emergency situation. In treatment, patients will learn how to stop their thoughts from reaching that place and productive coping mechanisms to handle extreme emotions.

Reckless Behavior 

If a child becomes numb as a result of depression, they may search for sensation through destructive behavior that feels good in the moment but creates worse depression later once those euphoric feelings go away. Examples of reckless behavior include substance abuse, compulsive shopping, gambling, and promiscuity. Most teens have heard adults explain how some choices have serious consequences, but most teens don't truly understand until later in life. In treatment, the patient can express their existential worries and learn to let go of the things they can't control and enjoy the things in front of them. 

Social Withdrawal 

Depressed teens may sleep all day and ignore phone calls from friends. When this happens once or twice, the teen may simply feel tired or need a break. When isolation becomes a pattern, it's an indication that they are hiding away out of fear of exposing their mental illness to others. Patiently listen when they decide to open up. When the situation gets so bad that it repeatedly ruins relationships and professional opportunities, encourage the child to get in-patient depression treatment for kids.