Sometimes it’s hard for parents to differentiate when their teenager is exhibiting normal behavior, or when it’s something more serious, such as depression. It’s normal for a teenager to display more emotional and dramatic behavior due to the many changes that are occurring throughout the adolescent years. On top of hormonal changes, teenagers are also dealing with peer pressure, academic expectations, and a desire for independence.
Common warning signs of depression include:
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
- Lack of energy and motivation
- Emotionally distant from family and friends
- Drastic changes in sleeping and eating habits
- Frequent or uncontrollable crying
- Comments on death or suicide
- Constant sadness or hopelessness
Studies have shown that depression in teens is on a rise. This is partially due to the advances in technology that have created further platforms for bullying. Each day teenagers are subjected to pressure from their peers, family, and the media. Teenagers suffering from depression feel an overwhelming sense of insecurity and isolation. While there are many different factors that can cause depression including genetics; it should never be taken lightly by a parent or guardian.
The consequences of depression going undiagnosed can be both taxing on the teenager and the parents involved. Depression in teenagers can lead to serious drug abuse, violence towards others, and academic struggles. This makes it crucial to note the first signs of depression and seek professional help for an official diagnosis. By being aware of normal behavior patterns and educating yourself on the common symptoms; you are taking an active role in the healthy development of your teenager.