Why Depressed Teens May Be Unable to Form the Goals That Will Lead Them to Success

Depression is a problem that often takes over every aspect of one’s life. Researchers at University of Liverpool have found that people with depression often make goals that are very abstract and non-specific. For example, people suffering from severe depression may make it a goal “to be happy” instead of something more specific. The research has shown that this sort of indecisive goal setting can lead to further depression and sadness. Mt. Pleasant Academy can help with these problems in troubled teens. For more information about our program and what we do, please call one of our Family Advocates today at 866-439-8110.

Depression and Abstract Goal Setting

The reason that depressed people make these sorts of non-specific goals is that depression significantly reduces one’s ability to commit and make long term decisions. Abstract goals are harder to visualize, making them nearly impossible to achieve. Thus, when the goal is not met (because it’s too vague to accomplish), the motivation to complete said goal is lowered, causing the cycle of depression to continue. 

Helping troubled teens combat depression can be a long and difficult task. There’s no one correct answer, but being there as a parent for your student can make much difference. The study shows that helping people with depression learn to set goals that are realistic as well as highly specific can help them break the cycle of negativity they are caught up in. Because troubled teens also have to deal with the pressures of adolescence, goal setting at all can seem like an impossible task. Therapy can help, but being there for your student and learning to understand them on a more personal level can do much for their recovery.

Sources:

Depressive People More Likely To Have Abstract Goals, Making Symptoms Worse

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