Girl watching the sunset out in nature and trying to overcome her teenage depression Teen Depression

Treatment – Teen Depression

Teen depression is more common than you might think. The life of a teenager can be hard. First, physical changes and increasing social pressures equal hard challenges. When you add in the quest for an identity, kids have a lot on their plate, which is why so many teens suffer from depression.

Request a Call 24/7

All calls are always confidential.

Often, responsible parents do not recognize teenage depression. The symptoms can be mistaken for the child “just being a teen.” Many teens often complain about being tired. In addition, they go through gloomy periods or come across as irritable at the dinner table. Yet, such common issues may be the beginnings of a more serious depressive episode.

As a consequence, parents need to pay attention to potential signs of teen depression.

Challenges Presented by Teen Depression

Depression affects how your teenager thinks, feels, and behaves. Teenage depression can lead to a range of emotional and physical issues for your child.

Many teens struggle with the idea that they are “not enough.” Low self-esteem often underlies depression and other mental health issues. Without proper treatment, a minor depressive episode can become a major depression. As a result, this is what every parent wants to avoid.

The Newport Academy professional treatment team understands what is happening to your child.

We can help. At Newport Academy, our team can support your teen’s healing and restore their bright future.

Finding Treatment Options for a Depressed Teenager

This is a national problem. Teen depression requires an expanded array of clinical and holistic modalities. Most importantly, treatment options must address the root causes of depression. Also, new issues are brought about by an ever-changing world. One of Newport Academy’s primary objectives is to fill this treatment gap.

Look at the national statistics for yourself. Hence, you will see that teenage depression is not only affecting your child, but many others as well. Please know that, as a parent, you are not alone. Furthermore, help is available.

“A child’s biology and psychology create their overall temperament, which determines how they take in and process the world. Some kids and teens are more sensitive, and if they’re unable to find healthy coping mechanisms to help them handle these intense feelings and reactions, they may spiral into depression, anxiety, or other condition.”

Heather Senior Monroe, Senior Clinician at Newport Academy

Startling statistics about teen depression from the National Institute of Mental Health.

  • 20% of American youth will experience some degree of depression
  • In 2015, 3 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 had at least one major depressive episode. This equals 12.5% of the US population in this age range
  • In 2015, 2.1 million adolescents had a major depressive episode with severe impairment. This equals 8.5% of the US population in this age range
  • Teens actually are more susceptible to depression than adults
  • 30% of depressed teens develop substance use disorder.

These are frightening statistics. But there is a solution. Furthermore, you can access the support your child needs. They still can develop into a well-adjusted, successful adult. Your teen can create fulfilling relationships with others. Yes, they can find their place in the world. Your teen can experience a life of health and happiness.

Newport Academy can aid you in identifying your teen’s challenges. We also know how to teach teens to develop the life skills that allow them to heal and overcome their struggles.

Boy standing on rocks by the ocean as part of his adventure therapy to treat his teenage depression

What causes depression in teens?

There are many causes of depression in youth. The pressure to achieve academic and athletic success can be high. Family dysfunction can add to these pressures.

Most teens experience some form of distress. External peer pressure and the resulting fear of social judgment causes such distress. Often teen depression goes hand-in-hand with teen anxiety.

If you want to know more about these issues, rest assured that we can give you the support you need.

Recognizing the Red Flags of Teen Depression

Teenage depression is complex. All parents and those who work with teenagers should be aware of the signs of depression in teens. The goal is to catch these red flags before a teen’s depressive episode gets worse.

There is a significant difference between a minor depressive episode and major depression. By knowing the signs, you can help your teen open a door that leads to long-term, sustainable healing.

10 signs of teenage depression

  1. Avoidance of social situations and a loss of interest in favored activities
  2. Exhaustion, constant fatigue, and a generalized lack of energy
  3. Sense of despair, sadness, and hopelessness (sometimes escalating into suicidal thoughts)
  4. Lack of motivation (resulting in feelings of either guilt and/or failure)
  5. Unexplained aches and pains, headaches, stomach problems
  6. Hard time concentrating (particularly for teens who used to be focused)
  7. Feeling worthless, irritable, frustrated, or having an extreme case of low self-esteem
  8. Disturbed sleep patterns (taking naps during the day, insomnia at night)
  9. Changes in appetite and weight (including not eating on a regular basis or binge eating)
  10. Abusing alcohol or drugs to cope with the pain as a form of self-medication.

What is the difference between teen depression and normal growing pains?

The answer to this question can bring relief. Making a distinction between teen depression and growing pains is important. After all, all teenagers can be moody at times.

Depression in teens is more severe and more persistent than typical growing pains. If your teen suffers from two or more of the signs of depression for longer than two weeks, they may be facing the painful effects of a depressive episode.

More importantly, if you have reached the point where you are researching teenage depression, the problem most likely has begun to impair your child. Did only minor growing pains experienced by your teen bring you to this point? Probably not. In that case, it’s time to find a solution that works.

Facing the Persistent Problem of a Depressed Teen

Most likely, you have seen the signs of depression affect your teen at home and at school over several weeks. If problems at school have not yet arisen,  they may be on the horizon. The persistence of teen depression over an extended period is a warning sign.

As a parent, you need to examine the severity of what is happening and be ready to act. Asking these questions will help:

  1. Do you think your teenager is going through normal growing pains?
  2. Or is your child experiencing a significant change in functioning?
  3. Does this change signal the onset of a major depressive episode?
  4. Does your son or daughter need professional help?

Are you ready to ask these questions? Then you need to know the different types of teenage depression and how they can affect your child.

The Different Types of Teenage Depression

Occasional sadness or a sense of feeling down is normal for anyone every now and then. Yet, emotions of this nature that last more than a few days could be a sign of the mental illness. There are several different types of depression, or depressive disorder. They include the following:

  • Major depression can rise in bouts that can last for at least two weeks. It deeply affects the quality of life and health of the individual. Persistent depressive disorder reduces functioning.
  • Melancholic depression is a subtype of major depression. It leads to extreme irritability and excessive worrying. Some symptoms include waking very early in a negative state of mind or an inability to get back to sleep.
  • Seasonal depression is most often triggered in winter due to lack of sunlight. The end of summer when school is about to begin can trigger it as well. Some experience depressive symptoms at the same time each year, almost like clockwork.
  • Atypical depression has several specific symptoms. These symptoms include increased appetite/weight gain, excessive sleep, and marked fatigue. They also can include emotional overreactions, and an extreme sensitivity to rejection.
  • Psychotic depression includes many symptoms that define psychosis. The extreme symptoms lead to a severe mental disorder. Impaired thoughts and emotions mean that contact with external reality becomes lost.
  • Bipolar disorder encompasses a serious form of depression. Sufferers experience extreme highs and lows. This condition is also a long-term effect of depression in 15% of teenagers.

Why is my depressed teen not reaching out?

Teens are not adults, and they must not be expected to act like adults. Their brains are still developing. They are thus subject to hormonal imbalances and poor impulse control.

Why isn’t your teen reaching out? Even healthy teens often lack the ability to seek help on their own. Teen depression short-circuits the brain. This makes it even more difficult for your son or daughter to ask for the help they need.

We can empathize with the need to understand why your depressed teenager is not asking for help. A better understanding can lead to positive action, thus initiating the healing process.

7 Reasons Why Depressed Teens Don’t Ask for the Help They Need

  1. Shame—They don’t want to let their parents down.
  2. Embarrassment—They don’t want to be different from their peers.
  3. They feel like their parents should know what is wrong with them.
  4. Hopelessness—They feel they are a lost cause, beyond all hope.
  5. Exhaustion—They can’t get off the couch. How could they ask for help?
  6. Fear—They hide what is wrong, scared that nothing will work.
  7. Magical thinking—They believe that only a miracle will save them.

“Newport Academy was able to give my daughter the tools to dig deep and look at the things she needed to look at. It was a turning point, and there’s no question we made the right decision.”

Denise, parent of a Newport Academy alumna

By gaining insight into what is happening, you can take the next step. Understanding leads to compassion. Through loving action, you can help your depressed teenager.

Although there are no easy answers, there are proactive steps. When it comes to dealing with teen depression, please do not hesitate. You son or daughter needs to be on the road to true healing.

The first step is talking with your teen. Then you can access the help they need.

How do I talk about depression with my teenager?

  • Focus on the best qualities of your child and visualize a positive outcome.
  • Find a safe environment to talk face-to-face, in person.
  • Exercise, even a walk around the block together, can be a conduit for communication.
  • Start conversations with conscious breathing; taking deep breaths helps to reduce tension.
  • Listening is key; lecturing will shut down a teen’s ability to respond.
  • Make a real effort to understand what they are feeling and why.
  • Offer teen depression treatment options that work.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for treating teenage depression. There are effective treatment modalities that work. They can stabilize even the most difficult situations.

Professional help can ease the symptoms of depression. We can help uncover and heal the root causes of the problem. As your teen finds the calm and peace they long for, the darkness will pass. Soon, a door to a happy, productive life will open. Here at Newport Academy, we see these successful outcomes every day.

You and your teen need to know that we are confident in our ability to help, and there is hope.

The Newport Academy Treatment Program Can Help

It is our mission to provide the most comprehensive, impactful treatment for teens to sustain long-term recovery. We enable young people to move out of the darkness and into the light, into happy, fulfilling lives.”

Jamison Monroe, Jr., Newport Academy Founder & CEO

Individual Therapy (Psychotherapy)

With teen depression, different forms of individual therapy contribute toward sustainable healing:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: CBT brings clarity to what a teen is thinking and feeling. CBT identifies the emotions that often result in a sense of isolation. It identifies the self-defeating thoughts and assumptions that make life more difficult. CBT provides valuable insight for the depressed teen.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy: DBT provides specific skills like mindfulness and emotional regulation. These skills can be used right away and become stronger with practice.

Using Antidepressants to Treat Depression in Teens

In some cases, antidepressant drugs can be helpful. They need to be used in conjunction with psychotherapy and holistic treatment modalities. They are rarely the first option we choose at Newport Academy.

Depression may be connected to a chemical imbalance in the brain. Short-term use of antidepressants can break the chains of a major depressive episode. Antidepressants often give a teen the space to address challenges. They can begin to build self-esteem.

The Newport Academy treatment team believes long-term mental health goes beyond medications. Rather, learning new adaptive behaviors leads to true emotional stability.

The Positive Relief of Residential Treatment

“A year ago, my life was black and gray—and now it’s full of every color imaginable. I got my life back at Newport.”

Sara, Newport Academy alumna

First, we stabilize your child, at Newport Academy. Then we treat the underlying causes of teenage depression. Residential treatment therefore allows teens to heal without the distractions of everyday life. Furthermore, there is scientific evidence that teen rehab works.

We often hear from our alumni that their time with us was a life-changing experience.

On our campuses, Newport Academy has fostered a life-sustaining environment of love and support. We offer a bright and compassionate community that cares. Your child is in the best care with us.

Residential treatment provides a nourishing, empathic environment. Your teens does not have to face depression alone.

Newport Academy fosters true long-term recovery through clinical and holistic modalities. These include the following:

  1. Experiential therapies such as Equine-Assisted Therapy, mindfulness practice, and adventure therapy
  2. Art and music therapy to bring forth creativity
  3. Traditional individual and group therapy
  4. Nutrition support and health-improving activities
  5. Furthermore, other techniques tailored to your teen’s unique and specific needs.

These approaches are customized for each teen through personalized treatment plans.

Teen Depression Treatment at Newport Academy

“We take a holistic perspective, offering many different avenues of treatment so we can reach teens emotionally, physically, and spiritually. As clinicians, we are here walking beside them, offering encouragement as they move from a place of survival to a place of thriving.”

—Marcie Beasley, Newport Academy Clinical Director

We know that you need help. You want to feel at ease again while knowing that your child is safe and secure. We empathize with these feelings, and we are here for you.

There’s no reason to face the darkness of depression alone. At Newport Academy, we provide the highest-quality care using evidence-based methods.

We also treat substance use disorders. We can help teens who are self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. They are trying to compensate for the pain of depression.
Therefore, Teens facing this challenge can address both issues. Our seasoned team of experts can help.

Newport Academy has a track record of clinical experience. We can provide a way back for depressed teens with substance use disorder. We can help your teen get back on the right track. The goal is to leave behind the darkness of both depression and drug or alcohol use.

Our compassionate recovery program will help your teen. Your son or daughter will develop a strong sense of self-worth. They do not have to feel stigmatized by what happened to them. Instead, they will enter into a new light of self-acceptance.

Know the Facts


20 percent of teens will experience depression before they reach adulthood.

3 million

3 million teenagers have one or more major 60% of kids with depression are not getting the depressive episodes every year.


60% of kids with depression are not getting the help or treatment they need

Three Things That Make Our Residential Treatment Program Different

Personalized Treatment

Each adolescent’s individualized treatment is diverse. We incorporate evidence-based clinical, experiential, and spiritual elements for comprehensive care. Newport Academy does not take the same approach for each child. Rather, we tailor an individualized care plan. As a result, we meet the specific needs of your teen. We use the diverse talents and services of our entire team

Our main goal is to help your child. He or she will receive the most effective personalized treatment available.

Upon admission, each adolescent is assigned an eight-person Treatment Team. This team hence develops a personalized program to ensure ongoing growth and sustainable healing.

The Treatment Team keeps in close contact and includes the following professionals:

“Our staff is passionate, dedicated, and willing to do whatever it takes to succeed in treating every child. We work with them no matter what, and we don’t give up.”

Barbara Nosal, Newport Academy Founding and Executive Director

  1.  Psychiatrist
  2. Individual Therapist
  3. Family Therapist
  4. Medical Doctor/Pediatrician
  5. Registered Nurse
  6. Registered Dietician/Nutritionist
  7. Counselor
  8. Clinical Director (oversees and manages the Treatment Team)

It is important to know who is helping your teen. At Newport Academy, our team is impressive and thus can help. We have assembled the best adolescent mental health treatment staff in the country. Consequently, these qualified, caring professionals are the foundation of our program. They are a key reason why we continue to achieve such high success rates.

“Transformation that lasts is based on love and connection. We see kids come here hopeless and sad and, in a short amount of time, they leave connected, happy, and hopeful.”

Michel Mennesson, Newport Academy Psychiatrist

Our Philosophy Is Love

We meet teens where they are by providing a safe, accepting, and nurturing environment. Indeed, we offer unconditional love. Hence, this love creates the groundwork in which deep issues can come to light.

Our compassionate staff loves your teen until they can learn to love themselves. Unconditional love is the foundation of this transformative process. Consequently, this is the key to our approach in treating depression in teens.

We Achieve Results

We take the success of our clients very seriously. Since you are trusting us with the most precious part of your life, we value and respect that trust. Hence, we will go the extra mile and more to help.

Our program tracks 15 different treatment goals about family, academics, and behavior. These goals include the following:

  1. Teenage Depression
  2. Stress and Anxiety
  3. Drug and Alcohol Use
  4. Eating Disorders
  5. Suicidal Thoughts and Self-Harm
  6. School Performance 
  7. Family Dynamics

Since our founding, we have achieved an unparalleled success rate. For example, 85% of teens complete the Newport Academy program. As a result, the vast majority of these teens have gone on to truly thrive.

We realize that the hardest part of seeking treatment is to
get started. We’re here to help make that part easier, 24
hours a day, 7 days a week.

In conclusion, learn more about Newport Academy’s comprehensive approach to treating teenage depression. Please browse our website or call us 877-959-0904. Furthermore, we are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We treat teenagers struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, and substance abuse. As a result, Newport Academy has a 4–1 staff-to-client ratio. We have created new programs in the teen treatment arena for over a decade. Experience has shown us that Newport Academy’s treatment programs work. But the most important thing is to find help. If Newport Academy is not the right fit, we then will help you find what your teen needs. We want your family to begin your healing journey.

Learn More About What We Treat


Teen anxiety is no fun. Stress helps the body prepare for a challenge. The senses are honed, the brain is alert, and the body is ready to spring into action. It’s a useful tool when a threat is imminent. Also, it’s considered a natural, and even a healthy, response by the human brain.
Learn More

Newport Academy Treatment Teen Rehab

Finding the right teen rehab for your child is challenging. Usually, teen rehab refers to a teenage drug rehabilitation center. At Newport Academy, however, we not only treat substance abuse issues, we offer so much more.
Learn More

Newport Academy Teen Mental Health Treatment

Addressing the need for teen mental health treatment is tough for any family. Every parent wants their children to be healthy, whole, and happy. That’s why the Newport Academy Treatment Team’s approach to teen mental health challenges begins with love, support, and acceptance.
Learn More

Newport Academy Treatment: Teen Trauma

Teen trauma is difficult to face. Both parents and children can be overwhelmed by traumatic events and their consequences. Parents must be courageous in taking the first steps to address trauma within the family. It isn’t easy for anyone.
Learn More

Teen Treatment: Newport Academy Teen Substance Abuse Treatment

Teen substance abuse affects far too many families. Are you concerned that your teen is abusing drugs or alcohol? After all, it’s normal to ask yourself many questions that you might not know the answers to.
Learn More

Newport Academy Treatment: Teen Eating Disorders

Teen eating disorders can be physically and emotionally devastating. Symptoms such as extreme weight loss, changes in countenance and appearance, physical exhaustion, and/or anxiety and depression are dangerous for teens and frightening for parents.
Learn More

Diagnoses We Treat

Teen Mental Health

Other Teen Disorders


Teen Anxiety

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Social Anxiety
  • Phobia
  • Panic Attacks
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Anxiety Attacks

Behavioral Addictions

  • Internet Addiction
  • Gaming Addiction
  • Self-Injury, Self-Harm, Cutting
  • Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling)
  • Social Media Addiction
  • Sex Addiction
  • Relationship Addiction
  • Codependency