girls weight loss campMore than three times as many American teenagers today are overweight or obese than there were in 1980. The prevalence of reports of childhood depression has also grown, and the two issues are frequently connected. Experts advise parents to pay attention if their children’s bad eating habits seem linked to depressed or melancholy moods even if the relationship between them may not always be clear.

Both weight growth and weight reduction are regarded as indicators of depression by The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V). It might be difficult for teenagers to discern between healthy weight growth and symptomatic weight increase.

Every teen has gloomy or moody moments. But when a teenager’s negative mood lasts for a few weeks or more and other behavioral changes occur, it may be an indication of depression.

Depression and Weight Gain Treatment 

Both therapy and corrective experiences can help depression and weight issues get better. However, if an issue is not handled, it may persist or worsen. Teens who are depressed require more assistance from their parents and other adults in their life outside of treatment. Teens who are overweight are more often depressed, report having fewer friends, and perform lower in school on average than their healthy-weight peers.

At Camp Pocono Trails, we work with many teens every summer whose parents have reached out for the additional assistance needed to help with both weight and depression-related issues. We work with teens on making better food choices, cooking skills, personal training, finding new healthy activities, and self-esteem. Campers attend a self-esteem group each week while at camp.

girl friends at weight loss campFactors Behind the Issue 

Teenagers may experience depression and weight gain for a variety of reasons. There isn’t just one cause. Life experiences, hormones, and genes can all have an impact.

Some teenagers may have inherited genes that make them more susceptible to depression and weight gain. The parts of the brain that control mood and energy are influenced by genes. Teenagers who are sad could have relatives who have also struggled with depression.

Mood changes brought on by puberty’s hormonal changes are possible. Teenagers who are vulnerable to hormonal changes brought on by seasonal fluctuations in light exposure. They can experience depression every year during the same period, during the shorter days of fall or winter. The term for this is seasonal depression (or seasonal affective disorder).

Events at school and family life might be affecting your child’s level of depression. Many teenagers have experienced bullying, difficulty in the family, conflict in the family, or challenging health issues. Some have experienced trauma or have lived with violence. Not all of these things result in depression. But even when teenagers get supportive parents and have a lot of inner strength, they can.

We Can Help! 

Whatever the cause of a teenager’s depression, the correct care can help them recover. Every summer at Camp Pocono Trails we see teens take control of their weight and in almost all cases, we see a significant boost to the camper’s self-esteem and overall level of happiness.

It’s an empowering experience to feel in control of your weight. For some teens, attending camp will be the very first time they ever felt in control of their environment and their weight. Having a healthy camp experience, along with positive peer support and education in various self-esteem topics can be just what your teenager needs to overcome both weight gain and depression.

If you have any questions about how Camp Pocono Trails can help your child, give us a call today at 1-800-365-0556.