Teenage depression is much more common than many people think. The changes to their hormones along with the pressures of everyday life is quite difficult for many teens to handle. If you think back to your own adolescence, I’m sure you can remember your own turmoil from that time period. And as the times have changed and become even more fast paced this has only tended to increase this sense of turmoil in our adolescents today.
There are quite a few causes of teenage depression and here are some of the more common ones:
- School and homework pressures
- Peer Pressures that come in all shapes and sizes
- Getting bullied
- Athletic accomplishments or not
- Attempts to fit in with the popular crowd
- Economic difficulties at home
- Sexual orientation
- Dealing with abusive situations at home or in relationships
It’s difficult for most teens to open up about their problems or concerns to parents, peers or teachers. They end up feeling isolated and alone. They bottle everything up inside and do their best to not let anyone know there’s a problem. However, these feeling have to go somewhere so they come out in the form of teenage depression, which only causes the situation to escalate. And many of these kids are turning to alcohol or drugs as a way to self medicate, forget their problems and feel good at least for awhile.
Often times parents and others around them don’t have a clue the adolescent is depressed at all. They just assume it’s the normal moodiness of being a typical teenager. Or they blame everything on the alcohol or drug usage.
Symptoms of Teenage Depression
Because teenage depression is difficult to pinpoint it’s helpful for parents and other adults to have an understanding of the signs and symptoms to help recognize if their teenager is actually depressed as compared to just going through a typical moody phase.
Some of the signs you should be on the look out for include isolating, losing or gaining weight, a doom and gloom attitude, over sleeping, no longer showing interest in hobbies, sports or other favorite activities or basically not enjoying life in general. Now, one or two of these traits don’t necessarily indicate teenage depression. But if a number of these characteristics describes your teenager’s behavior, it’s time for a second look.
You also need to trust your gut feelings. You know your child better than anyone. So, don’t ignore that sense you have that tells you something just doesn’t feel right. The sooner you get help for your teen the better. The longer someone suffers from depression, no matter what their age, the worse it becomes. And the sooner you seek help, the more likely it will be that your teenager will be able to get back on track and enjoying their adolescence once again.
It’s Important to Seek Help for Depression When Needed
If help is obtained early enough, it’s also more likely your teen won’t get caught up in alcohol or drug abuse. A major concern that could continue on into adulthood creating a lifetime of problems.
However, if you notice signs of substance abuse in your teenage child, call an alcohol and drug interventionist and ask for help for your troubled child.
Adolescence is known for it’s difficulties, which can be greatly intensified if a teenager is considered different from other kids their age or doesn’t quite fit in with the norm. And peer pressure is also more difficult when a child feels isolated and alone. Make sure your teen knows you’re there for him no matter what and reach out to professionals if you can’t provide the help needed on your own.
Seeking professional help is never an easy step for parents to take but one that you need to consider for the sake of your child’s future. Take a look at what is available as there are many forms of quality treatment for teenage depression including therapy and medication if needed.Your teenager can’t handle this alone. Your help is greatly needed.