Teenage depression is a serious mental illness that affects millions of teenagers in the United States each year. Unfortunately only a small portions of teens with depression ever get professional help for their struggles with teenage depression. As teens grow and develop, the emotional changes they undergo can become a struggle.
Often times these emotional changes, whether hormonal or influenced by life occurrences, or both are to blame, it can turn quickly into a severe problem like teenage depression. Dealing with these struggles, ups and downs, and challenges as a teen can be scary and difficult. It often requires professional therapy and possible antidepressant medications to help teens cope with such trying times. While all teens experience their fair share of emotional turmoil, teenage depression can take a dangerous turn when it continues for weeks on end without the teen being able to figure out a way to cope. Their grades might suffer along with the friendships, relationships, extra curricular activities and other responsibilities. That is why it is important for parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of teenage depression so they can help get their teen professional help before they do something as drastic as suicide or self-mutilation. Keep reading to learn the signs of teenage depression.
Teenage Depression Signs and Symptoms:
Teens who have depression will often show signs of becoming withdrawn, easily agitated, rebellious and altogether unhappy for long periods on end. It can be difficult for teens to do well in school. They might sleep excessively or struggle with insomnia. They might experience episodes of anxiety or prolonged sadness. Other signs of teenage depression include a teen’s inability to maintain healthy friendships with friends and family members. They might start hanging out with a different crowd that has a rebellious or troublesome reputation. They might even begin engaging in some of the activities like underage drinking, smoking and doing drugs as a method to escape from the sadness they feel but can’t understand or cope with on a regular basis.
Teenage depression might bring out acts of anger or aggression in your teen, They might start skipping school or sleeping class and refusing to turn in their homework or study for tests. They don’t have a bright outlook on their future and no longer find enjoyment in activities they once did like playing games, sports or other hobbies. They also might show signs of severe weight loss or weight gain as well. The difference between a moody teenager and a depressed teenager is that those with teenage depression will act this way for weeks on end and for prolonged periods of time, which is called a depression episode.
Because teens go through so many changes both physically and emotionally it can be tough for them to cope. If there are big changes happening at home like parents getting divorced or death of a loved one a teen is going to be more likely to suffer from teenage depression. Some teens that deal with issues regarding their sexuality or bullying at school might find themselves more likely to be depressed. Some teens might struggle with learning or paying attention in school, which can cause their grades to drop and for them to see negative repercussions that might lead to depression. There are so many factors and incidents that can cause teenage depression. Some teens simply have the ability to cope with these struggles better than others. Teens with low self-esteem might find it more difficult for them to cope with these issues and will experience overwhelming depression as a result. Unfortunately many teens resort to burning or cutting themselves, or even develop an eating disorder as a way to cope. They might even decide their life isn’t worth living and will resort to suicide. To prevent these tragic endings for such young individuals it is important for parents to watch their teen’s behavior. If the teen has been showing signs of teenage depression, it is time to get them professional help.
Treatment for Teenage Depression:
Fortunately because teen depression is a fairly common occurrence there are plenty of trained professional therapists and psychologists that can help the teens learn to cope with the negative in their lives so the depression can no longer be this overwhelming presence in their life, Weekly therapy sessions are a good place to start for many depressed teens. Some teens might find out they need more help in coping with their emotions and will need to be placed on an antidepressant medication to help them heal. Either way, there are steps parents can take to effectively help their depressed teen resume a normal life to continue growing into an adult with a bright and successful future.