5 Ways To Treat Depression In Teens

When your teen expresses chronic depression, don't be alarmed. There are numerous depression treatment options for teens, depending on your teen's preferences and the severity of their condition. Learn about 5 effective ways to treat depression in teens. 


Teens need to learn how to control their own thoughts. They can learn a lot through meditation sessions. Meditation can lower the heart rate and relieve tension, which is especially helpful for teens whose depression manifests itself into anger issues. It can also help the meditator see things more clearly. They will be able to come out of the meditation with a better understanding of how to move forward. 

Art Therapy

Children and teenagers are still developing their language skills. Therefore, they may struggle to express complex emotions in words. Some children do better when expressing themself in a creative way. Art therapy uses art to gain insight into the patient's psyche. Art therapy applies to numerous art forms, such as painting, sculpting, dancing, writing, playing music, and singing. The therapist will analyze each piece of art with the patient to come to each breakthrough together. 


Psychotherapy refers to a specific type of talk therapy that works to change patterns in the brain and behavior. One of the most common types of cognitive therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). However, more therapists are shifting to Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Other therapists use behavioral therapy, such as desensitization and conditioning. 


A therapist may recommend a visit to a psychiatrist—a medical doctor who can prescribe mental health medications. For moderate to severe cases of depression, a psychiatrist may prescribe antidepressants. Antidepressants work by enhancing neurotransmitter activity in your brain, such as dopamine and serotonin. Most antidepressants are not addictive.

Anti-depressants are divided into four main categories:

  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • tricyclics

In-Patient Treatment

Mild to moderate depression is normal in teens. However, untreated depression can escalate to an emergency situation, such as suicide. According to a study by UCLA, 20% of teens experience suicidal thoughts. When students confess to suicidal ideation, it may be time to enroll the child in a depression treatment program for youth. Staff will watch patients around the clock for weeks or sometimes even months until the doctors can trust that they are safe. Before the teen gets released, mental health professionals will create an after-care plan for future treatment. 

Contact a local depression treatment program for youth to learn more.