To most adults, teenagers would appear to have carefree and simple lives. However, the reality is rather different as many teens struggle with similar problems to adults, such as depression. How can you tell when the hormonal blues you may expect a teenager to experience are more and actual depression? There are various signs and symptoms you can look out for and in the following post, we are going to highlight some of the most crucial.
A Deep Sadness
One of the most noticeable signs of depression is sadness. We are not talking about just one day when they feel a little in the dumps. We mean a deep sadness that lasts for longer than 2 weeks. Teens with depression often talk or think about suicide or hurting themselves. Often kids find it hard to talk to their parents. That is why it is a good idea to make friends with your children’s friends.
Weight and Eating Habit Changes
There is a strong correlation between teenagers who have problematic eating habits or weight changes and those who have depression. If you notice sudden and unexplainable changes in your teenager’s eating habits or weight, this could be a sign of depression.
Activity Levels and Sleep Pattern Changes
Teenagers that are suffering from depression are also more likely to have slumps in their activity levels and to be less interested in doing things from one day to next, compared to how they did before.
Just as it can affect the sleep patterns of adults, depression can interfere with the sleep patterns of teenagers. While some teenagers will start to show signs of insomnia, others will spend too much time in bed.
Behavioral and Mood Changes
Other telling signs of teen depression are changes to your child’s behavior and moods. If your once easygoing and well-behaved child starts getting into trouble more or abusing alcohol, it could be a sign that they are depressed.
Teens often go through feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and guilt and this can be exacerbated by depression. They are also more likely to have flare-ups in their mood, flipping from normal and calm moods to tempers.
Drops in Self-Esteem
A knock-on effect of everything we have mentioned so far is that your child’s self-esteem could be badly affected by depression. Although it can be easily overlooked as a rite of passage or just a phase, if your child starts being overly concerned about their looks and appearance or tries to avoid social events or spend too much time getting ready for them, this could be a sign of something more serious. As we noted above, if they feel worthless, guilty, or unlovable, this may drive them to constantly look for reassurance contrary to what they believe.
Kids go through changes as they grow up – that is part of life. However, if a normally confident and sociable child starts to withdraw and does not want to spend time with people like they did before, this could be a sign of a more serious issue instead of it just being hormonal changes. It could be a sign of teen depression.
What do you do next? Fortunately, knowledge and research of teenage depression as improved over the years and there are various teenage depression treatment options available.