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Depression Management For Adolescents

AMBULATORY CARE:

Depression

is a medical condition that causes feelings of sadness or hopelessness that do not go away. Depression may cause you to lose interest in things you used to enjoy. These feelings may interfere with your daily life.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Appetite changes, or weight gain or loss
  • Trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, or sleeping too much
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Feeling restless, irritable, or withdrawn
  • Feeling worthless, hopeless, discouraged, or guilty
  • Trouble concentrating, remembering things, doing daily tasks, or making decisions
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US), or ask someone to call if:

  • You think about or tell someone you want to harm yourself or another person.

Call your doctor or therapist if:

  • Your symptoms do not improve.
  • You have new symptoms.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment for depression

may include medicine to improve or balance your mood. Therapy may also be recommended. Therapy will help you learn to cope with your thoughts and feelings. This can be done alone or in a group. It may also be done with family members.

Self-care:

  • Get regular physical activity. Try to exercise for 1 hour every day. Physical activity can improve your symptoms.
  • Get enough sleep. Create a routine to help you relax before bed. You can listen to music, read, or do yoga. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Sleep is important for emotional health.
  • Eat a variety of healthy foods. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. A healthy meal plan is low in fat, salt, and added sugar. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about a meal plan that is right for you.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use drugs. Alcohol and drugs can make your symptoms worse.

The following resources are available at any time to help you, if needed:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK)
  • Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE)
  • For a list of international numbers: https://save.org/find-help/international-resources/

Follow up with your therapist or doctor as directed:

Follow-up visits are a way for healthcare providers to learn if your depression is getting better. Providers will also monitor your medicine if you take antidepressants. Tell them if the medicine is helping and about any side effects or problems you are having. The type or amount of medicine may need to be changed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Depression Management For Adolescents (Ambulatory Care)

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