Depression is one of the most frequently reported emotional symptoms in adolescents. Studies indicate that at any one time between 10 and 15 percent of children and adolescents experience some symptoms of depression (Report of the Surgeon General, online).
Are you unsure if your teen is depressed or just “being a teenager”?
Everyone has some ups and downs, and sadness is a natural emotion. The normal stresses of life can lead anyone to feel sad every once in a while. However, depression is more than occasionally feeling sad, irritable, or down in the dumps. Depression is a strong mood involving sadness, discouragement, despair, or hopelessness that lasts for weeks, months, or even longer. It interferes with a person’s ability to participate in normal activities.
In addition to changes in mood, depression affects person’s thoughts, physical well-being, outlook on life, and behaviors. The following are typical symptoms of depression:
If you are concerned about your teenager’s mood, consider how long your teenager’s symptoms have been present, how severe they are, and how different is your teen acting compared to his or her usual self.
What are the differences between teenage and adult depression?
Depression may take a different appearance in teenagers compared to adults. The following symptoms of depression are more common in teenagers than in their adult counterparts:
What are the effects of teen depression?
Many rebellious and unhealthy behaviors or attitudes in depressed teens are displays of their emotional pain. The following are some examples of how depression unkindly effects teens and those around them:
How to help a depressed teen?
Talk to your teen about your concerns in a loving and non-judgmental way. Encourage them to open up about what they are going through. Let your teen know you are there for him or her. Focus on listening and holding back with asking a lot of questions. Acknowledge the pain and sadness they are experiencing.
If you see depression’s warning signs, seek professional help!
We encourage you to schedule your counseling appointment online.
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