Signs of Depression In Teen Boys: Getting Help
Signs of Depression In Teen Boys: Getting Help
The average person will spend more than 7,000 hours of life in school, making it the ideal platform for identifying signs of mental health struggles and instilling good habits. However, most schools focus more on academic achievement than the students’ overall wellbeing. As teen boys with depression struggle to open up about their emotional experiences, teachers are more likely to notice signs like poor academic performance or behavioral problems. Residential treatment centers integrate a therapeutic approach into the classroom for boys with depression to help them thrive.
Signs of Depression in Teen Boys
Many young boys struggle with identifying their feelings and communicating them with others, as they’ve learned it is not socially acceptable to do so. As a result, they are more likely to try to hide their feelings or to externalize their feelings in nonverbal ways. Boys tend to express negative feelings through violence toward themselves or others, self-destructive behavior and recklessness, and substance abuse.
Common signs of depression in teen boys:
- Feel sad or “empty”
- Feeling irritable, angry, hopeless, or anxious
- Loss of interest in hobbies or interests
- Feeling very tired
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleep disturbance
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Physical complaints
- Inability to meet daily responsibilities
Treatment Goals for Boys
The biggest barrier to treating depression in boys is that many boys lack meaningful relationships with their peers and mentors. While girls are more likely to talk about their emotions and turn to their friends when they are having problems, boys are more likely to believe they have to face negative emotions on their own or avoid them altogether. Gender-specific treatment acknowledges gender differences in experiencing depression and takes a relationship-based approach. Residential programs provide a safe space for boys to be vulnerable with each other and develop meaningful relationships. As talk therapy can be difficult for boys, residential program offer a variety of recreational activities to keep boys engaged and to teach them social and emotional skills outside of a clinical setting.
Some goals of residential treatment include teaching them how to:
- Identify and replace negative beliefs
- Show empathy for other people’s emotions
- Connect and communicate when they face problems
- Ask for feedback and find adaptive ways to solve problems
- Handle competitive feelings
- Build positive leadership skills
Types of Therapy Offered in Residential Treatment
Group Therapy. Positive peer support is one of the most effective forms of treatment in a residential setting. While boys tend to have more acquaintances, they struggle to develop emotional intimacy in friendships as talking about emotions is seen as taboo. Specialty groups provide a platform for boys to discuss topics like depression management, grief and loss, social skills, and substance use with their peers.
Individual Therapy. Primary therapists have small caseloads to ensure they are able to provide individualized attention to each student. They prioritize building trust with teen boys by engaging with them outside of therapy sessions through meals and recreation activities. In individual sessions, therapists use a variety of strategies to empower teens to explore their belief systems and behavioral patterns.
Family Therapy. The core of our program is based on healing damaged relationships so that we can help restore healthy connections within the family system. In addition to weekly family therapy sessions by Skype or phone, we invite families to campus for flexible visitation and quarterly, multi-day Family Seminars with other families in the program. Families learn skills to support their son, communicate better with each other, and practice self-care.
Academic Support. Teachers are a vital part of our treatment team. Teachers work with therapists to understand how emotional and behavioral issues may affect students’ school performance and offer accommodations in the classroom. As a year-round school, students have the opportunity to make up credits or get ahead in order to meet their academic goals. Teachers also provide academic advising to ensure that students are prepared for their next step.
Adventure Therapy. Equinox stands out from other residential programs for their emphasis on adventure therapy. These experiences help create connections between the problems and solutions in experiential ways for teenagers. Adventure therapy incorporates outdoor recreation, experiential education, and community service to help boys build a positive identity, confidence, and leadership skills.
Equinox Can Help
Equinox is a residential treatment center helping boys ages 14-18 who struggle with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Our residential program offers a unique treatment program designed to fit each individual’s specific needs. This treatment center has a supportive environment that helps students heal from the inside-out. They will be exposed to both positive and negative outcomes as a part of equipping them to cope with the challenges that the real world can bring. Students develop a healthy sense of social and emotional awareness. Additionally, they learn how to incorporate good habits into their daily lives. Equinox enforces a positive change in the lives of young men and offers them a fresh start at a happy and healthy future.
Contact us at 877-279-8925.
Kyle received his Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Texas Tech University. As a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Kyle has worked in a variety of clinical settings over the last seventeen years. His career has focused on treating both boys and girls, with specialization in trauma, processing difficulties, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, OCD and difficult family systems.