Understanding the Signs of Teen Depression
The teenage years can be trying for today’s youth, and with todays “always connected” environment, it can be more difficult than ever. There are differences between a general malaise and full on depression, and knowing these differences could mean the world when it comes to how to treat the teen. Here, we hope to help you spot the signs of depression so you can help determine how to help your troubled teenager.
Most teens that suffer from depression display very obvious warning signs if you know what you’re looking for. Warning signs can range from a change in sleep patterns to teenagers resorting to self-harming, from cutting themselves to pulling out their own hair. Below are some of the main warning signs that your teenagers is depressed:
- Continuous sad or “empty” mood
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
- Difficulty remembering, concentrating, or making decisions
- Change in sleeping habits: Insomnia, waking earlier than normal or oversleeping
- Loss of appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain
- Talking about death or suicide; suicide attempts
- Irritability in mood or physical feeling
- Persistent physical symptoms that do not lessen with treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, stomach aches, and chronic pain
If you notice your teen displaying any of these warning signs, talking to them is the best initial course of action. Getting your teen to open up and discuss their issues may be exactly what they need. However, sometimes the warning sign can be just the tip of the iceberg. If your teen continues to display these signs, it’s best to seek help from a medical professional.
From there, the psychiatrist will be able to determine the best course of action for your depressed teen. Sometimes with these symptoms, it can be an issue such as stress over an important exam or a big project coming due at school. Even if your teen is not depressed, any of the above symptoms can be a sign of a larger problem and they should seek professional help.