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EMDR Might Help Adolescents Process Depression Due to Life Changes

Today, depression is at an all-time high. According to the ADAA, the leading cause of disability in the United States is major depressive disorder, affecting more than 3.2 million teens. This statistic by itself may be troubling. However, when you couple that with the fact that depression often leads to other conditions, such as anxiety and substance abuse, the scenario becomes downright scary. However, at Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center, we provide treatment for depression and other mental health conditions. One treatment method we use is EMDR therapy . To learn about our  adolescent depression treatment program or EMDR in adolescents, contact our treatment center today by calling 662.373.2828.

Depression and EMDR

Depression can be caused for a number of reasons in adolescents. Hormonal changes, chemical imbalances, genetic predisposition, and reaction to life changes. Making social transitions through adolescence and teenagehood can involve a lot of ups and downs. In youth, it also seems to be the time when the parents of adolescents are creating life changes for their children. Divorce, death, arguments, moving, and more can cause what is called adjustment disorder. When depression or symptoms of depression result from an adolescent's inability to adjust or cope with life transitions, it can raise new issues. A ccording to a study on EMDR in treating adolescent depression on NCBI , Depression in adolescents is associated with increases in the risk of suicide and substance abuse, poor psychosocial and academic functioning, and frequent comorbidity with other psychiatric disorders. There is a 14% rate of adolescent depression turning into lifelong major depression. The researchers utilized EMDR, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, for treating teenagers experiencing symptoms of depression due to life changes. To the knowledge of the researchers, their study was one of the first to use EMDR to treat adolescent depression, specifically. As depression is closely associated with negative life events, the researchers write, we hypothesized that processing the stressful memories preceding the onset of depression may reduce symptoms.

What Is EMDR?

EMDR is one of the most effective treatments for PTSD. The process uses bilateral stimuli to activate and rebalance the brain, which increases the brain's ability to process information. Processing difficult memories in trauma is part of what causes negative symptoms. By stimulating the brain in addition to working through symptoms, the process helps alleviate symptoms and put haunting memories to rest.

Did The Study Work?

Using EMDR on the adolescents to aid in processing the negative memories they were experiencing brought about symptomatic improvement, the researchers explained. The effectiveness of EMDR in treating depression suggests that life transitions or stressful events could cause depression in adolescents. This, in turn, could be a contributor to the development of substance use disorders. Substance abuse is often a form of coping. For adolescents with untreated symptoms of mental health issues like depression, substance abuse is a way to escape challenging feelings . However, considering the suggestion that depression might be caused by stressful life adjustments, it might be that adolescents turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their inability to cope with memories of how difficult things are for them at the time.

Contact Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center

Recovery is possible for adolescents who have lost themselves in addiction. At Stonewater Recovery Center, we work closely with each patient by providing residential addiction treatment for adolescents. We will help you find hope, strength, and faith in recovery. We are proud of our clinical, family, and faith-based approach to creating a new life through recovery. In addition to EMDR therapy, we also provide:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy program (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy program (DBT)
  • Fly fishing therapy program
  • Yoga therapy program
  • Music therapy program

Contact Stonewater today at 662.373.2828 for more information on our residential programs and EMDR in adolescents.