Can Medication Help Depressed Teens?
Depression can arise on its own or be caused by something else. Young people with undiagnosed psychological issues such as ADD often endure depression as they struggle against the academic and social pressure caused by that issue. Depression often appears alongside substance abuse and other risky or self-destructive behaviors that temporarily let the young person “feel something.”
When depression symptoms persist for more than two weeks, a diagnosis can be made.
Medication can help many depressed teens, but there are some clear drawbacks:
- The medication may take weeks, up to a few months, to produce effects.
- Some depression medication is habit-forming and can cause dependency.
- If medication is withdrawn for any reason, depression typically returns.
- Many medications have major side effects that may upset some teens.
How Wilderness Therapy Combats Depression
Spending time outdoors produces real restorative effects across the brain and body. These can't solve depression on their own, but they can serve as a starting point helping a child or young adult break free.
Simple things like sunlight, fresh air, and a distraction-free environment work together to change electrical patterns in the brain, boosting the production of serotonin and other chemicals. These help people feel good and keep problems in perspective instead of assuming they are permanent.
Wilderness therapy builds on this natural healing environment, providing experiences that help teens become more emotionally resilient. They get hope and self-esteem from having concrete goals, enjoy the satisfaction of achieving them, and take leadership in planning future goals.
Just as importantly, they are surrounded by peers, mentors, and therapists throughout the process. They learn they are not alone, even during the hardest challenges.