Disorders of Adolescence

disorders of adolescence

quick facts

Youth suicide is a leading cause of death amongst older adolescents, and the rates are increasing. The suicide rate for young men is especially disturbing as it is around five times that of young women. This essentially means that in Australia every day, at least one young male commits suicide.

Why is this happening? Generally there are growing numbers of adolescents and young adults who are experiencing depressive disorders or other mental health problems. Other identified social and psychological risk factors include; physical, emotional or sexual abuse or assault, unemployment, low self esteem and poor self image, demands of school or university, loss or death, financial problems or problems with sexual identity. Finally alcohol and drug use can also account for some of these figures.

Statistics also show that in each successive generation suicide has become more prevalent in young age groups so we can expect this problem will grow. Suicidal thoughts are part of the everyday life of 16% of adolescents aged 12 to 16 years. However, the much larger issue faced by our community is the rate of depression. About 1% of young people aged 15 to 24 years experience severe depression requiring hospitalisation or other intensive treatment. A further 8% are likely to experience a moderate level of depression, with suicidal thoughts and feelings present.

options for treatment

Access to good quality treatment programs is therefore paramount to managing the growing problems faced by our young people. Therapy programs that are geared towards understanding and supporting their very unique experience of life is central to effectively dealing with this population.

Effective therapy for adolescents and young adults is not dissimilar to that which works with adults. Cognitive-behavioural therapy models have demonstrated good outcomes when pitched to adolescents and young adults in language they can relate to.

The main aims of therapy are to teach adolescents and young adults new coping skills and strategies which allow them to cope more effectively with the problems they are experiencing. Topics which are covered in treatment typically include goal setting and planning, anxiety and depression management, coping skills, relaxation, stress management, self monitoring, identifying styles of thinking, rational responding, challenging unhelpful thinking and expectations, self esteem, assertiveness and communication, stress management, relationships and anger management.

adolescent programs

Perth Clinic offers specific treatment programs for adolescents and young adults. Here, young people can discuss their issues with their peers and experienced therapists assisting them to develop the coping skills necessary to live as healthy adults.

Parents are offered the opportunity to be involved in this process, via group and/or family sessions that aim to bridge the gap between parents and their children and to foster greater understanding of what they are experiencing.

adolescent and young adult acute stream

The adolescent and young adult acute stream is a flexible, intensive program. This program aims to teach adolescents and young adults new coping skills and strategies which allow them to cope more effectively with the problems they are experiencing. This service includes dealing with crisis management, distress reduction and psychoeducation.

Topics which are covered in the group include goal setting and planning, anxiety and depression management, coping skills, relaxation, stress management, and specialist modules.

The group runs daily from Monday to Friday.

the young adult and adolescent closed group cbt program

The young adult and adolescent closed group is an intensive program primarily for outpatients. The program aims to teach adolescents and young adults new coping skills and strategies that allow them to cope more effectively.

The program is primarily based on the cognitive behavioural therapy model. Topics addressed include goal setting and planning, self monitoring, identifying styles of thinking, rational responding, challenging unhelpful thinking and expectations, self esteem, assertiveness and communication, stress management, relationships and anger management.

The program includes two parent sessions and two follow up sessions at four and eight weeks after the group. The program is conducted by two designated therapists.

For further information please talk to your doctor or contact our admissions office.

further reading

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

referrals

For further information go to Referral Process