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04-10 Counseling Awareness Month: Handling teen depression through regular counseling

Counseling Awareness Month: Handling teen depression through regular counseling

The field of counseling as a career path is witnessing a major growth lately. Counseling can be taken up in any field, including mental health, addiction and emotional or behavioral health. One cannot ignore its importance in bringing forth problems that people fear to discuss in the open. As per the American Counseling Association (ACA), “Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.”

To underscore the significance of the work the counseling profession entails, the ACA observes Counseling Awareness Month (CAM) in April every year. The campaign helps raise awareness about the nature of work of counselors in communities across the U.S.

One problem, in which counselors can play an important role is depression. When patients with depression are able to openly share their problems pertaining to unrelenting hopelessness and sadness, a part of their condition, it can open up the way for recovery for them. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 300 million people are afflicted with depression across the world. Considering this huge number, the importance of counselors cannot be denied especially for patients with depression and other mental disorders that require regular therapy.

Depression high among American teenagers

The symptoms of depression are pervasive across all age groups, however, a gradual rise has been observed in teen depression, as per a recent study titled “National Trends in the Prevalence and Treatment of Depression in Adolescents and Young Adults.” Various reasons are responsible for the increasing rate of depression among the American youth. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics in November 2016, revealed that a year’s prevalence of major depressive episodes rose from 8.7 percent in 2005 to 11.3 percent in 2014. Though the researchers have based their findings on self-reported observations by the teenaged participants, the exact reasons behind the growing depression are still not clear.

Depression is a big problem partly because of the extremely low number of people getting the necessary help. As the treatment gap widens due to fear of stigma or inability to share problems with others, counselors come to the rescue of those suffering from depression.

Important to share negative feelings with counselor

People should understand that it is necessary to talk about depression as opposed to the common tendency to shy away from sharing the negative feelings. Elucidating on the need to express depression problems, Shekhar Saxena, director of the WHO’s mental health department, said, “For someone living with depression, talking to a person they trust is often the first step towards treatment and recovery.” This includes getting involved in psychotherapy or talk therapy sessions with counselors who can suggest ways to manage depression. As talk therapy helps the patients inculcate necessary skills to handle depression, many people define the same as an empowering experience.

Finding treatment for mental problems

No matter what kind of counselor one goes to, the most important thing is the quality of rapport between the counselor and the patient. The patients should share a certain degree of comfort level with the counselors.

Talk therapy with a counselor is more than just discussing one’s own problems. It is about working together toward a workable solution by recognizing thought patterns and other ingrained ideas, which may be aggravating the condition. For depressed teenagers living in remote areas, visiting therapists on a regular basis may not be always possible. The Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego makes use of a telehealth option also called eTherapy to ensure counseling to those not able to attend mental health rehabs regularly. During video conferencing with counselors, depressed adolescents are encouraged to look at their experiences differently or adopt new ways to interact within the society. The counselors also educate them about various coping mechanisms and stress management techniques. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-615-7266 for more information about our behavioral disorders program for teens.

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