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Teenage Depression Treatment

SunCloud Health offers both Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP). Our PHP runs Monday through Friday from 9am-3:30pm, while our IOP is available three to five times weekly from 4-7pm. Both programs are available at our Naperville, Chicago, and Northbrook centers. Designed for adolescents requiring varying levels of support, we provide dedicated time for schoolwork and maintain direct collaboration with their schools. Our approach sets us apart from other programs in the Chicago region. We specialize in treating depression, substance use disorder, eating disorders, anxiety, PTSD, school refusal, and other behavioral health conditions. Please contact us for an assessment to determine if our offerings are the right fit for the needs of your child, patient, or student.

Teenage Depression Treatment: What You Need to Know

As most parents can attest, moodiness, irritation, confusion, and behavioral changes are all normal in teen development: Adolescents are growing and developing, this often comes with difficulty, feelings of awkwardness, sadness and distress for young adults. However, it is not wise to rule out teenage depression: consistent and severe changes in your teen’s mood and functioning might be symptoms of a larger, underlying issue that requires treatment.


Dr. Alexander Chevalier, Medical Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at SunCloud Health, details the questions parents should be asking when looking for a treatment provider.


Hear from Dr. Chevalier on the balance school and extracurricular activities with treatment. In most cases, coursework is unaffected and can be improved while a student is out of school receiving treatment.

Parents should be encouraged to seek treatment for teen depression in severe cases. This article will discuss, in depth, depression in teens and treatment options to help you better understand:

  • Signs and Symptoms that your teen may be depressed
  • Common underlying causes of Teen Depression
  • What steps to take if you believe your teen is experiencing depression
  • Tips for having a conversation with your teen about depression
  • If your child needs help from a treatment center for depressed teens/treatment centers and program types
  • What makes SunCloud Health a top center for teen depression treatment

VIDEO: What we do in Treatment at SunCloud Health

Signs and Symptoms of Teenage Depression

While it’s hard to differentiate between normal teenage growing pains and symptoms of depression, there are behavioral patterns to watch for. Here are some of those common symptoms:

  • Problems with self-esteem
  • Lack of motivation or the ability to concentrate, especially in teens that were once focused
  • Exhaustion, fatigue and body aches
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once of interest
  • Changes in appetite, weight, and sleep habits
  • Substance abuse
  • Consistent bad mood, manifesting as either frequent crying and expressions of despair and hopelessness or as bouts of frustration and anger (both can indicate depression)

While any one of these symptoms may be demonstrated by teens who are not experiencing depression, consistency and severity of symptoms are key in identifying depression in teens.

VIDEO: What to expect when starting in our adolescent program


Dr. Kim Dennis, MD, CEDS, explains how SunCloud Health treats co-occurring disorders.

Common Underlying Causes of Teenage Depression

There are a number of experiences that may cause, trigger, or exacerbate depression of which teenagers are particularly vulnerable to exposure. Bullying, academic pressure, family dysfunction, and past trauma are all common underlying causes of depression in teens. Teen depression can often go hand in hand with teen anxiety and PTSD. In seeking treatment for teens experiencing depression, remember to ask questions and articulate relevant details when working with mental health professionals to help them better understand your teen’s specific circumstances.

Steps to Take if You Believe Your Teen is Depressed

Parents of teens experiencing depression are encouraged to seek treatment alongside their teen. Be sure your teen receives a diagnosis from a doctor or mental health professional. Along with a psychological evaluation, physical examinations and lab tests are common in diagnosing teen depression. There are currently two medications to treat teen depression approved by the FDA: fluoxetine (Prozac) and escitalopram (Lexapro). Discuss these options with your teen’s doctor and do not refrain from asking questions.

Tips for Having a Conversation about Teenage Depression Treatment

Teens are not adults – as their minds continue to develop, they may not reach out for help or open up about their experiences on their own. It is important to discuss concerns about the underlying issues with your teen openly and without judgement. Here are a couple tips for having conversations with your teen about depression:

  • Focus on your teen’s strengths and avoid placing blame
  • Speak with your teen in a tone that grants dignity and respect
  • Talk face-to-face in a safe environment
  • Remember to listen rather than lecture
  • Make a deliberate effort to understand and empathize with your teen’s perspective and experience
  • Offer your teen treatment options & make your teen feel included in discussions about treatment

VIDEO: Our adolescent program summarized

Seeking Help from a Treatment Center for Depressed Teens

When seeking help for teenage depression, and considering teenage depression treatment, a combination of talk therapy and medication can be effective. In cases of severe self-harm symptoms, teens with depression may require inpatient hospitalization or help from an outpatient program. Treatment centers can provide resources, knowledge, and lasting relief. Often, seeking the proper treatment center for your depressed teen is an emotionally challenging process. Many young people have never been away from home for long periods of time and forcing inpatient hospitalization on teens can create additional trauma and counteract the impact of treatment. However, in some cases, particularly when teens are in danger of self-harm or harming others, inpatient hospitalization can provide safety until symptoms become more manageable. It is essential to understand the risks involved with intensive treatment and compare them honestly to the risks inherent in self-harm symptoms.

Many outpatient programs can offer comparable treatment to their inpatient counterparts, without adding an overnight-away-from-home factor to the child’s experience.

VIDEO: How does collaborative care work at SunCloud Health?

SunCloud Health: A Top Center for Teenage Depression Treatment

SunCloud Health currently offers Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP) for teenage depression treatment. As a top treatment center for depression, SunCloud Health recognizes the toll depression can take on your teen and your family’s lives. We believe there is always hope, and we are here to help your teen take the first steps toward recovery.


Dr. Alexander Chevalier, Medical Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at SunCloud Health, gives parents helpful advice on what to look for when considering treatment centers their child.

We are dedicated to the needs of teens and the emotional health issues they face, and we create an individualized program for each teen, tailored to their needs.

VIDEO: Why consider SunCloud Health for your child

SunCloud Health’s Accreditations, Certifications & Licensingjoint commission national quality seal

The Joint Commission signifies that all people always experience the safest, highest quality, best-value health care across all settings with a devotion to patient safety. The Gold Seal, is a symbol to the community and patients we serve that SunCloud Health has placed an emphasis on quality of care.

Why Our Patients LOVE SunCloud Health:

The best decision of my life. I have never had more gratitude and love for a place in my life. I was a outpatient here for about 3 and half months this past year. I learned skills for coping, self-compassion, emotional regulation, and self-care that I use on a regular basis. The treatment I received created a foundation for me that I never had before, and it has helped and taught me to do what is best for me. Having both the group and individual therapy helped teach me a lot of important communication skills when it came to my emotions and shame. I have overcome so much because of this program, and I continue to grow because of everything I experienced and learned here. If you are wondering if this is the right place for you just know that in most cases it is. If you’re ready to work hard and become the person you need in your life then you are going to love SunCloud Health. Or in other cases if you need help and support to do the work SunCloud Health is there for you. It isn’t easy but it’s beyond worth it. You will meet many amazing people here both staff and other patients that will help guide on your path of recovery. It is a magical place and I am forever grateful for my experience here! 

Meet our Adolescent Medical Leadership Team

  • Alexander Chevalier, MD
    Alexander Chevalier, MD
    Medical Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Kimberly Dennis, MD, CEDS
    Kimberly Dennis, MD, CEDS
    Chief Medical Officer, CEO and Co-founder
  • Johnathan Coleman, MD
    Johnathan Coleman, MD
  • Mike Mehta, DO, MBA
    Mike Mehta, DO, MBA


Alexander Chevalier, MD, Medical Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at SunCloud Health discusses the impact of COVID 19 on adolescents with Jacqueline Rhew, CADC, LCPC.


Mike Mehta, DO, MBA, Psychiatrist at SunCloud Health, on what he likes about child and adolescent psychiatry.

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Northbrook Location

40 Skokie Blvd
Suite 200
Northbrook, IL 60062

Chicago Location

1840 North Clybourn
Suite 520
Chicago, IL 60614

Naperville Location

280 Shuman Blvd.
Suite 190
Naperville, IL 60563

Accreditations, Certifications & Licensing

LegitScript approved
DASA License. Department of Alcohol and Substance Abuse.
Joint Commission Behavioral Health Care Accreditation.
EDC Member
IAEDP Member

The Joint Commission signifies that all people always experience the safest, highest quality, best-value health care across all settings with a devotion to patient safety. The Gold Seal, is a symbol to the community and patients we serve that SunCloud Health has placed an emphasis on quality of care.

We are here for you.

One of the nations most trusted names in treating substance use addictions, eating disorders, mood disorders, PTSD and related traumas.
(866) 729-1012