Does Talking About Depression Make it Worse?
The transition from childhood to adulthood has always been difficult, but young people today face challenges their parents never imagined. For teens, young adults, and their loved ones, distinguishing between normal adolescent angst and more serious issues leaves them filled with questions: Is this a mood disorder? Does talking about depression make it worse? Is it time to get help? There are no easy answers, and the myths surrounding depression make it even more confusing.
What is Depression?
Depression is more than just feeling sad or hopeless. It’s a medical disorder that affects daily activities like sleep, diet, and performance at work or school. It may show up at any age but often starts in early adulthood. Sometimes, it occurs with conditions like attention deficit disorder or substance abuse. Depressive disorders are not a sign of weakness, and positive thinking won’t make them go away. The good news is that they are treatable.
What are the Signs of Depression in Teens and Young Adults?
Sadness when facing a disappointment or loss is normal, but signs of depressions are more severe and long-lasting. These symptoms are common:
- Irritability and anxiety
- Emptiness or helplessness
- Loss of self-esteem and withdrawal
- Drop in performance levels
- Lack of interest in things once enjoyed
- Eating or sleeping less or more than usual
- Lack of energy
- Difficulty remembering, concentrating, or making decisions
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Thoughts of self-harm
If you think someone is thinking about suicide, calmly express your concern. Then, get help immediately. Talking about suicide doesn’t make it worse. Open and caring conversations save lives. The National Suicide Hotline is also available 24 hours a day.
Does Everyone Have the Same Symptoms?
About 1 in 5 depressed people have atypical symptoms or symptoms that are not typical of normal depression. Although symptoms vary, they can include these:
- Low feelings that temporarily go away with good news
- An increase in appetite or weight
- Sleeping too much but still feeling fatigued during the day
- Feelings of heaviness in the limbs that last for an hour or more daily
- Sensitivity to criticism or rejection that affects relationships, job performance or social life
Atypical depression is significant among young people because it often occurs earlier than other kinds, especially among teens. It may persist through adulthood and is neither uncommon nor unusual. Treatments usually include talk therapy, medications, and changes in lifestyle. Causes may include substance misuse, a history of bipolar disorder, environmental stress, and a tough childhood.
Does Talking About Depression Make It Worse?
Among the common depression myths are the belief that talking about the disorder makes it worse, but research shows the opposite. Talking to a trusted friend or adult is a good place to start, but sharing with a professional is even better. Safe Place (txt-4-help) is a national hotline for teens in crisis, and it’s available 24 hours a day.
A 2013 study found these seven types of talk therapy to be the most effective:
- Short-term therapy to improve skills in communication and conflict-resolution
- Therapy to identify and change behaviors and beliefs that contribute to depression.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy to improve relationships and build social networks based on integrity and openness
- Therapy to explore deep-seated trauma and unconscious memories
- Depression support that encourages exploration of issues patient wants to discuss
- Increasing awareness of ways to increase pleasure in surroundings and lifestyle
- Problem-solving to define challenges and offer solutions
Whether it takes place over the phone or in person, talking with a trusted friend, adult, or professional is recommended for teens and young adults. Depression support is crucial for the young person and the family. Does talking about depression make it worse? The answer is no. Forget depression myths, and get help.
Does Alternative Medicine Help?
While alternative practices are usually not enough to treat depressive disorders, they can be an important part of a holistic treatment plan. Medications and counseling should always continue.
Alternative techniques like these may reduce stress and make it easier for the mind, body and spirit to heal:
- Tai chi or yoga
- Breathing exercises
- Guided imagery
- Art or music therapy
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
What Is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)?
TMS is a noninvasive procedure that stimulates nerve cells in the brain by sending repetitive magnetic pulses. Lasting 18 minutes, TMS sessions are administered by a technician, and some patients report sensations on the scalp. The therapy targets specific locations in the brain.
Patients report having fewer symptoms of depression, finding it easier to concentrate, and sleeping better. One study showed a positive response rate of 58%. Those treated also report improvement lasting three years or longer, and over 3,500 papers have verified its benefits.
Side effects are mild but can include light headache or discomfort of the scalp. Benefits usually occur in four weeks or less but may extend up to 12 months for hard-to-treat cases. The treatment can be repeated and is covered by most insurance plans.
Pulse TMS Helps Patients of All Ages
Pulse TMS uses the latest technology to help patients with treatment-resistant depression, and treatments are available for all ages. With a team of experts from the fields of medicine, psychology, and technology, we understand how TMS works, how to administer it, and how it affects our patients.
Besides resistant depression, we treat postpartum depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and co-occurring conditions like anxiety and depression. With offices in West LA near the 405 and 10 freeways, we’re easily accessible and ready to help you have a better life.