#53: Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

Dr. Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon is the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Join Marjorie Morrison and Patrick J. Kennedy for an in-depth discussion with Dr. Delphin-Rittmon on the role SAMHSA plays in mental healthcare, and how they are collaborating to improve the future of mental health.

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How to Treat Depression in Teens


How to Treat Depression in Teens

You can start treating your depression by establishing a healthy routine. For example, you can break up big tasks into smaller ones and set priorities based on your health and your level of depression. You can also confide in a friend or family member if you are feeling alone. Other methods include doing things that make you feel good. For instance, doing something nice for someone else may make you feel better. While treating depression can be challenging, it will improve with time.

The symptoms of depression in teens can vary based on the severity and frequency of the symptoms. Children may feel sad and irritable, while older children may feel worthless and grouchy. These symptoms can affect school performance and even cause teens to eat excessively or harm themselves. If you see your child showing signs of depression, you should talk to a trusted adult. If these symptoms are severe or persist for a long time, you should see a mental health professional.

Psychotherapy is an excellent treatment for depression. Psychotherapy can help change distorted ideas about yourself and improve relationships. Often, psychotherapy is combined with medication to reduce the severity and length of the depression. Whether you’re depressed at the moment or several years down the road, there’s a solution out there. A good psychotherapist can work with you to find a treatment plan that works best for you. You can also take on a hobby or get outside to spend time with family.

Often, different causes of depression combine to trigger a depressed mood. A major traumatic event or illness can send you into a downward spiral. A relationship breakup, for instance, can cause you to withdraw from social activities and drink more. Depression is much more likely in women than it is in men, which is why it is important to find a way to overcome depression. You can begin the healing process by consulting a therapist. If you’re in a relationship that is destroying your happiness, you may be at greater risk for developing depression.

If you have a severe case of depression, electroconvulsive therapy may be a good option for you. The treatment involves passing a mild electrical current through your brain. This will cause brief seizures that will restore normal brain chemicals. The results should show in a few weeks. A good treatment plan will prevent you from developing the symptoms of depression again in the future. A good way to avoid relapse of depression is to stay away from stress.

There are also alternative methods of treatment for depression. Changing your diet may be a good way to change the way your brain reacts to certain emotions. You can also try acupuncture, which is a form of Chinese medicine. During sessions, acupuncture practitioners use needles to stimulate specific points in your body. This may be just as effective as counseling, if not more so. You should consult your doctor if you suspect you are suffering from depression and begin treatment immediately.

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