6 Signs Your Teen Is Going Through Depression
By tyler Jacobson
The transition from childhood and adulthood can be tough for teens. Nowadays teens struggle with various issues both at school and in the home, causing more stress, anxiety, and depression than ever before.
As a parent, you might wonder if the changes you see in your teen are normal or something to worry about. How can you know if your teen is depressed?
Here are 6 signs to watch out for:
- Sudden drastic changes in behavior.
If your usually conscientious teen suddenly starts abusing drugs or alcohol, becomes promiscuous or starts getting into trouble at school, it might be a sign of something deeper going on. Your teen could be acting out in a bid to counter the sadness or numbness that usually accompanies depression. It could also be their way of crying out for help.
- Irritability, anger, and hostility.
Being a teen in today’s world isn’t easy. They have to deal with pressures from their parents, peers, and school all while coping with the havoc brought about by hormones. All this can make anyone have a short fuse. However, be on alert if your teen’s mood suddenly changes and they become agitated, easily frustrated, prone to angry outbursts and generally hostile.
- Deep sadness and talk of suicide or death.
Perhaps the most alarming and obvious sign that all’s not well with your teen is a sudden fascination with suicide or death. Depression often tricks the victim into thinking that no one cares about them and that life is worthless. Your teen then plunges into deep sadness and eventually, death seems like the only way out of their misery. Suicidal ideation accompanied by a sense of hopelessness and apathy should be taken seriously as it could indicate that your teen is sinking fast and needs help right away.
- Changes in eating habits and weight.
Another sign of depression could be an insatiable or decreased appetite. Your teen could try to eat their depression away (gaining weight in the process) or they might lose their appetite altogether, which would lead to weight loss.
- Changes in sleeping patterns.
Depression often comes with feelings of intense fatigue and exhaustion, making it tough to do even the smallest tasks. Due to this, your teen could start sleeping more than usual. Conversely, they may exhibit insomnia and have trouble falling and staying asleep throughout the night.
- Withdrawal from friends and family.
Social withdrawal could be another indicator of depression. Your once outgoing teen might suddenly start isolating themselves from their friends and family, preferring to spend more time on their own. They might also lose interest in activities they once enjoyed and might opt out of participating in any social activities with their family or peers.
Get Help For Your Teen
If you notice your teen showing any of these signs, talk to them and try to find out what’s going on. In case you feel that they’re not being completely honest, try talking with their friends. Trust your gut if you feel that your teen is going through depression, be supportive and get them help from a qualified therapist. Sometimes teens might need to spend time at a therapeutic boarding school to help them get their lives back on track.
Depression might seem overwhelming to you and your teen but be assured that with the right help and lots of love and support from you, your teen can get better.