Major Depressive Disorder in Teens

It’s impossible to avoid feeling sad every now and again. You’re expected to feel a bit down when you get a bad grade on a test or have your heart broken by a crush. Sometimes the sadness can be overwhelming if you experience a big life change, such as losing a family member. But if your negative emotions are persistent and all-encompassing for long periods of time, there’s a chance that you may have major depressive disorder.

Studies show that major depressive disorder affects 1.1% of adolescents between the ages of 10 and 14, as well as 2.8% of teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19. It’s estimated that up to 20% of children will have at least one episode of major depressive disorder before they turn 18. So if you’re experiencing all-encompassing sadness that doesn’t seem to be going away, you’re not alone.

What is Major Depressive Disoder? 

Nearly everyone, regardless of their age, has used the phrase “I’m so depressed” as an offhanded comment due to a temporary sad feeling. But not everyone has diagnosable depression.

Major depressive disorder, commonly known as depression, is a mood disorder that causes all-consuming and persistent negative feelings, including sadness, malaise and hopelessness.

Depression can affect you mentally, emotionally and even physically. It can make it difficult to complete your everyday tasks, such as schoolwork, household chores and extracurricular activities. Depression can also interfere with your relationships with those closest to you, such as friends, family members and significant others.

The most common symptoms of depression include:


  • Overwhelming feelings of sadness
  • Difficulty finding joy in activities
  • Increased fatigue
  • Lack of motivation and energy
  • Body aches, such as headaches and stomach pains

How Can Lightfully Teen Treat Major Depressive Disorder?

If you’re living with depression, it can feel like the negative feelings will never go away. But even though depression can’t be permanently cured, there are treatment options that can help to reduce the symptoms to limit the negative impact it has on your everyday life.

At Lightfully Teen, we pride ourselves on helping you through your mental health journey by making sure that you see how every aspect of who you are can impact your depression symptoms. That’s why we use process-based therapy, which is a clinical model that treats your entire well-being, not just your diagnosis. Because you’re more than just your depression.

Process-based therapy (PBT) uses integrated interventions, such as values clarification and motivational enhancement, to help you see who you are now and how you can get to who you want to be in the future.

The PBT integrated interventions stem from four core processes that each play a key role in your depression:


  • Difficulty with emotions
  • Difficulty with thoughts
  • Difficulty with behaviors
  • Difficulty with relationships

Lightfully Teen Can Help Treat Your Major Depressive Disorder

Process-based therapy can help your major depressive disorder in our three levels of care: Residential Treatment, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), also called our Day Treatment Program.

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We’re here when you’re ready. Send us a message using the link below or give us a call at 916.269.5371. Let us help shine a light on your path.

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