Emotional freedom technique may be helpful in treating teen depression

Emotional freedom technique may be helpful in treating teen depression

Depression is a common disorder that affects individuals of all ages, costing the family and society immense socioeconomic burden. When feelings of hopelessness and sadness continue to plague someone’s mind day and night, it could be a sign of major depression. The American Psychological Association (APA) reports that major depressive disorder (MDD) affects approximately 14.8 million adult Americans in a given year. However, there is a difference in how the disorder impacts teens and adults.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), nearly 2 out of 100 young children and 8 out of 100 teens may be suffering from serious depression. Both teens and adults experience similar symptoms of hopelessness and loss of interest in previously favourite activities, but young individuals may be more reluctant to express it. Anger, or silence, perhaps, are the two most common ways to draw attention to their condition and sometimes, the symptoms may be confused with other mental health conditions.

A study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has found that depressed teens hardly use the word “depressed” while describing the state of their mental health; they are more likely to use words like “stressed” or “down”, which may be taken as a normal reaction to life stressors. The researchers suggest that it is important to look beneath the surface to ensure good teen health. Though common treatment modalities like medication and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) are effective in treating teen depression, the efficacy of another approach called emotional freedom technique (EFT), which combines cognitive therapy with acupressure, is also becoming popular among researchers and therapists.

Brief intervention reduces tense emotional reactions

EFT is a simple technique that a depressed individual can do on his/her own. It involves tapping the acupressure points combined with cognitive therapy. The technique appears to have a positive effect on the amygdala (brains’ stress centre) and hippocampus (memory centre), as both play a role in deciding the severity of a threat. The simplicity of the technique and its immediate calming effect has made it a popular approach, especially, in treating teens. The therapy is also effective in dealing with problems of peer pressure and eating disorders, and reducing feelings of sadness, anger, doubt and fear among teenagers.

A previous study, after examining 20 studies, supported the efficacy of clinical EFT, proving that the technique is effective in reducing depressive symptoms in a variety of population and settings. It emphasized that the results are more beneficial than other treatment controls. Clinical EFT certification is also possible either for therapists, teachers or other people who simply want to learn the self-help technique and improve the overall quality of life.

Depression is a treatable disorder

Symptoms of depression can go unnoticed for days and months, without the individual realizing it. However, depression is a serious mental health issue that demands proper diagnosis and treatment from a certified mental health expert. An untreated mental disorder interferes with everyday living and impairs personal, social and professional life. Thankfully, depression is treatable when people seek help at the earliest.

The Arizona Depression Helpline can help provide information about the disorder as well as help connect you to the finest depression rehab centers in Arizona. Call us on our 24/7 helpline (866) 233-3895 or chat with one of our trained professionals to know more about various depression treatment programs in Arizona.