Recognizing Depression in Teens

It is fairly common for teenagers to go through the growing pains of adolescence making them more irritable or emotional. It is important for parents to be able to spot the difference between a teen who is simply through the normal social and physical changes of their teenage years and one who may be struggling with depression. Kids who are having trouble adjusting or are stuck in an emotional or psychological pattern may need help.

Teens are dealing with a lot of pressure from their academic expectations and struggling to fit in with their peers. If they feel that they can’t cope with this pressure they might start to perform poorly in school and withdraw from social activities or hanging out with friends. They also might exhibit feelings of sadness, hopelessness, a lack of enthusiasm and emotional overreaction to criticism.

Physically, teens who are dealing with depression might have trouble sleeping or sleep more than they usually do. They might also gain or lose weight quickly because of dramatic appetite changes. They may not take as much care in maintaining their appearance and have poor hygiene.

Teens who are depressed might not only appear sad and lethargic but they might also be rebellious and act out because they don’t know how to cope with their feelings. They might challenge authority figures or express feelings of anger and rage at inappropriate times. Depressed teens might also start to get involved with different types of substance abuse including drinking, using marijuana or other drugs.

When you start to recognize warning signs of depression in teens then it might be time to take them to a professional who can provide counseling and diagnosis. The earlier that you get help for young people, the less risk they have for developing more severe disorders as they grow up. Please call us today for a referral to a center for your teen.