Teenage depression is a real concern which affects teenagers of all cultures and socioeconomic groups. Teenagers (and children), can experience depression in the same ways adults do. However, it is often more difficult for them to be able to express their feelings than it is for adults.
Teenagers might fear that they will be looked upon as different or feel that others will not understand them. Life can be complicated at this age as teenagers are beginning to understand who they are as they come into young adulthood. This is why it is important for adults to recognize the warning signs of teenage depression.
Common warning signs are:
- Decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Appearing sad or tearful
- Relationship difficulties or social isolation
- Appearing angry or resentful
- Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness
- Physical complaints
- Abuses of either alcohol or drugs
- Problems with appetite, sleep, or concentration
- Decreased academic performance or failing grades
- Thoughts or threats of self-harm or suicide
If any of these symptoms are present with your teen, it is very important to talk to him or her.
Be understanding, and listen without judging. This will allow him or her to open up without feeling he or she will be punished for sharing with you.
Encourage your teen to talk with a professional who can help sort out feelings, make sense of what is going on, and work on solutions to problems that are causing the symptoms.
If your teen has expressed a threat of harm to him or herself, do not take chances: Seek immediate medical or psychological help.
We are available to consult with you should you have any concerns regarding your teenager.