The symptoms of depression in teenagers are somewhat more difficult to recognize than they are for adults. This is due to the fact that teens are known for having many of the symptoms that signify a problem just because they are teens. However, teenage depression poses a serious threat that can drastically affect your child’s life. Which makes it extremely important for parents to pay close attention to the warning signs. Fortunately, this condition can be treated and you can do many things to help.
And taking the step to know and understand the symptoms of depression in teenagers is the first place to start. Once you recognize the warning signs in your adolescent, this is the time that you need to act upon them and seek professional help. Learn how you can handle the situation to aid your teen towards getting back on the appropriate track.
Symptoms Of Depression In Teenagers
You were a teenager once upon a time. And I’m sure you can attest to the fact that being an adolescent comes with challenging pressures and a difficult struggle for identity. Not only this, as your child is asserting independence, conflicts may arise in your relationship that puts added strain on your ability to communicate effectively. Thus, with these circumstances, it can be difficult to determine if your teen is undergoing depression or just normal mood swings and teen behavior.
This is what makes it so important that as a parent, you need to know the symptoms of depression in teenagers so you can identify them and determine if it’s time to seek outside help. The basic symptoms include sadness, frequent crying, feelings of worthlessness and thoughts of death or suicide. Though for some depressed teens, the most prominent symptoms are aggressiveness, being irritable and anger. If you are unsure if your kid is depressed, you need to consider how long the symptoms have been present, the severity and the difference between the behavior as it is now compared to their normal self.
Besides the symptoms above here is a list of other things to be on the lookout for that signify depression:
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Major mood swings
- Talking or drawing about suicide
- Lack of motivation
- Failing in schoolwork
- Changes in eating patterns
- Lack of interest in activities that once were important
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Reduced energy or feeling tired more often than usual
- Self destructive behaviors
- Cutting oneself
- Giving away once precious items
Helping Your Depressed Teen
If you recognize five or more these symptoms of depression in teenagers, you need to begin by talking about it. You need to show concern for your teenager in a non-judgmental way. Point out the warning signs that you identify and why there’s cause to worry. This way you can give them the chance to let you know what he or she is going through.
The next step is for you to set an immediate appointment with your family doctor. Discuss your concerns about the symptoms including how long and how much they have been affecting your teen. If other health problems are ruled out that could be causing the condition, you may need to seek a specialist. Ask your doctor to refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist for further evaluation and seek available treatment options that can best help your teenager.
Though it is common to face turmoil in the adolescent years, drastic changes in mood, personality and behavior can be symptoms of depression in teenagers. This can be a cue for you as a parent that that there is a deeper problem that you need to address. So, don’t stop here, continue to search for answers and support your teen every step of the way.