Young Adults (13-18)

Psychotherapy can benefit young people in a variety of ways. A young person will receive emotional support, learn how to resolve conflicts with people, understand feelings and problems and try out new solutions to old problems.

Young people face a host of pressures, from the changes of puberty to questions about who they are and where they fit in. The natural transition from child to adult can also bring parental conflict as young people discuver and assert their independence. With all this drama it isn't always easy to differentiate between depression and normal adolescent moodiness.

If you feel a young person in your care is depressed, we outline some of the typical symptoms below. If your young person has demonstrated some of these behaviours, consider how long the symptoms have been present, how severe they are and how different this behaviour is from his or her earlier personality.

Aggressivity - The predominant symptom in adolescent depression is frequently not sadness but aggressive acting out. This can manifest as angry outbursts, school refusal, self harm, or even suicidal ideation.

Body issues - The changes in the developing adolescent body may trigger psychosomatic aches and pains, obsessive compulsive cleaning rituals, eating disorders and other disorders relating to body image.   

Concentration and motivation - Depressed young people are extremely vulnerable to criticism, rejection and failure. Exam pressure, peer pressure, goal-setting can be traumatic experiences for young people struggling to find their place in society. School refusal, also called "school phobia" is often a symptomatic reaction to this stress.

Separation anxiety - Earlier attachment traumas may be re-visited at this time, leading to problems in socialisation eg bullying, exclusion, isolation. 

Substance abuse - The misuse and abuse of drugs and alcohol may develop at this time as an inappropriate way of coping with stress and anxiety.

Therapists at Leeson Analytic who specialise in psychotherapy for adolescents are:

Eve Watson, Marie Walshe, Donna Redmond, Nicola Hunt and Nessa Muller.