Updated: Mar 23
Depression is a mood disorder that can affect people of any age, but it is more common in teenagers. Depression can cause feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness that can last for weeks or months.
While teen depression is a common problem, it is not normal. Left untreated, teen depression can increase the risk of risky behavior such as alcohol or drug use, teen violence, and/or thoughts of suicide.
If you are concerned that your teenager is depressed, the best thing to do is to try and talk to them. Ask them about how they are feeling and whether they have been having any problems. If you are still concerned, or if your teen does not want to talk to you, here are some signs to look out for.
Some signs that your teen might be depressed are:
- If they always seem tired and do not want to do anything or go anywhere. Even activities that they used to enjoy may no longer interest them. They might also start sleeping more than normal or have trouble falling asleep at night. It is important for teens to get the recommended eight to ten hours of sleep per night.
- If they are not eating or if they are overeating. Teens might also start smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual.
- If their mood changes a lot and they seem irritable or angry all the time. They may also have feelings of worthlessness and guilt.
- If they have a hard time concentrating in school or at work. They might also stop attending school, and their grades will start to drop. Teens who are depressed may even think about suicide or attempt it.
- If they isolate themselves from friends and family or have trouble making friends. They might also have a hard time making decisions.
If you suspect your teen is depressed, do not blame yourself! Depression has many causes and can affect anyone at any stage of life. Most importantly, teen depression is treatable if you seek help early on. Don’t wait for the symptoms to get severe before seeking treatment either – the sooner you act, the better it will be for your teen in both the long term and short term!
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, try talking with your child again, sharing your observations and concerns and how they relate to depression. If the teen is unwilling to communicate with you, or if the symptoms seem to be getting worse, it is always best to consult a professional. The earlier teen depression is treated, the better the outcome. There is no shame in admitting that your teen needs help and seeking out assistance from a trained professional. With the right treatment plan, your child can overcome teen depression and live a happy and healthy life.
Thanks for reading. I hope this information is helpful and encourages parents to seek help if they are concerned about their teen's mental health. Remember, depression is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly. If you have any questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am here to help!