Anxiety & Depression Treatment for Teens & Young Adults

Mind over Mood for Teens & Young Adults

A six-week solution that teaches targeted, practical skills.

Ascend's Mind over Mood short-term treatment program provides six weeks of targeted individual and group treatment that teaches specific, practical skills that get teens and young adults back on track.

Since you're concerned, the best next step is to give us a call about your specific situation. We're happy to be of service and talk through the red flags that are worrying you.

When to worry about anxiety & depression in teens and young adults.

It's natural for teens and young adults to feel occasionally sad or hopeless, or to worry that bad things might happen.

These days, they feel pressure from lots of directions: school, parents, friends, boyfriends and girlfriends and more. And they face big decisions:

  • What's next after high school?
  • What's next after college?
  • What kind of job or major should they choose?
  • What if they can't find a job after graduation?
  • Is it time to move out?
  • If they're off to college, should they attempt a long-term dating relationship?
  • Are they struggling to make good relationship decisions with girlfriends or boyfriends?
  • How can they build new connections as high school friends move on?

When anxious, fearful or sad feelings start to drown out happiness and disrupt day-to-day life -- it's time to get professional help.

Watch for these red flags.

  • Little interest in doing fun or recreational things they would typically enjoy
  • Significant changes in how much they eat or sleep -- eating or sleeping much more, or much less, than usual
  • Noticeable energy level changes -- becoming very sluggish, or becoming "hyper"
  • Difficulty paying attention or staying "plugged in" to a conversation or activity -- drifting off into their own world
  • Feeling useless or worthless
  • Feeling "separation anxiety" when they're away from parents or others they're especially close to
  • Extreme fears or phobias that disrupt family, school or play activities
  • Avoidance of new or unfamiliar situations
  • Avoidance of settings where they'll have to interact with other people
  • Sudden changes in behavior or feelings following an objectively traumatic or deeply upsetting experience
  • Generalized worry about the future, or about unspecified bad things that could happen to them, or their family or others
  • Panic disorders or anxiety attacks with or without physical symptoms like a racing heart, breaking out in a cold sweat, feeling dizzy
  • Sadness or depression with or without physical symptoms like extreme tiredness, frequent headaches or stomach upsets with no obvious physical cause

More warning signs of teen anxiety and depression.

Don't blame yourself, or them.

Anxiety and depression aren't anyone's fault. The ability to handle our emotions develops at different ages in different people. Teens and young adults who struggle with anxiety, fear and depression are often simply facing difficult situations before the brain has fully developed the ability to handle them.

Problem-solving skills develop over time. We aren't born with them, and we don't instantly learn them just because we've reached a certain birthday.

That's why our treatment approach is evidence-based: it teaches proven skills that help teens take control over their thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions.

Our approach

The Mind Over Mood program gives teens and college-age adults the tools to identify their personal strengths. This immediately helps establish a sense of greater confidence and self-worth.

Then, it provides individual and group training in cognitive-behavioral coping skills that they can start using immediately. Our goal is to increase their sense of self-efficacy -- the confidence that they have the ability to help themselves and improve their situation.  That's the best way to get rid of anxiety, fear, and that feeling of being stuck and powerless to help yourself.

Research has shown that these proven methods for handling your own feelings, emotions and actions work in all kinds of situations. They're truly skills for life.

Medication for teen anxiety and depression.

We believe strongly that powerful prescription medications while the brain is still developing during the teens and early twenties should be used with caution. They should not be the first or only treatment choice.

Moreover, medication to manage teen anxiety, depression or other mood or behavior disorders should always be accompanied by ongoing cognitive-behavioral counseling. This approach teaches life skills that help clients better manage their thoughts, feelings and actions.

This two-pronged approach helps minimize both dosage and the duration of medication use.

Our on-site psychiatric provider is available to screen and diagnose mental health and behavioral health conditions, and can prescribe psychiatric and mood management medications as needed, including ADHD medications.

Frequently-asked questions.

I don't know if my child's unhappiness is serious enough for treatment.

You don't have to have all the answers.

The most important thing you can do is to:

  1. recognize that your child is struggling and
  2. recognize that attempts by family members and others aren't helping enough

That's the point where it makes sense to reach out for professional help.

If you're not sure whether you should be worried, just give us a call. We are happy to be of service and to talk through the situation that concerns you.

I'm really worried but I don't know how to get my child to agree to see you.

That's a common concern among parents. Based on your child's specific situation, we can help you plan a conversation that helps your child agree to reach out for help. Call our office to talk with our clinicians about how to move forward.

I've heard that counseling takes a long time to help.

Ascend specializes in short-term individualized treatment that helps people get back on track as quickly as possible.

While some psychologists emphasize weekly visits that may continue for years, lying on a couch talking about childhood memories, that's a different approach to therapy. It's not what we do here.