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Signs that your teenager is depressed

Depression in teens
Depression in teens

Do you ever wonder whether your irritable or unhappy adolescent might actually be experiencing teen depression? Of course, most teens feel unhappy at times. And when you add hormone havoc to the many other changes happening in a teen’s life, it’s easy to see why their moods swing like a pendulum. This is a sign that your teenager is depressed. Findings show that one out of every eight adolescents has teen depression. But depression can be treated as well as the serious problems that come with it. So if your teen’s unhappiness lasts for more than two weeks and they display other symptoms of depression, it may be time to seek help from a health professional.

Why do adolescents get depression?

There are multiple reasons why a teenager might become depressed. For example, teens can develop feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy over their grades. School performance, social status with peers, sexual orientation, or family life can each have a major effect on how a teen feels. Sometimes, teen depression may result from environmental stress. But whatever the cause, when being with friends or family, or doing things that the teen usually enjoys, doesn’t help to improve their sadness or sense of isolation, there’s a good chance that they have teen depression.

What are the symptoms of teen depression?

Often, kids with teen depression will have a noticeable change in their thinking and behavior. The most common symptom of depression is sadness for no apparent reason most of the time. They may have no motivation and even become withdrawn, closing their bedroom door after school and staying in their room for hours.

Kids with teen depression may sleep excessively, have a change in eating habits, and may even exhibit criminal behaviors such as DUI or shoplifting. Here are more signs of depression in adolescents even though they may or may not show all signs:

Complaints of pains, including headaches, stomachaches, low back pain, or fatigue
Difficulty concentrating
Difficulty making decisions
Excessive or inappropriate guilt
Irresponsible behaviour, for example, forgetting obligations, being late for classes, skipping school
Loss of interest in food or compulsive overeating that results in rapid weight loss or gain
Memory loss
Preoccupation with death and dying
Rebellious behaviour
Sadness, anxiety, or a feeling of hopelessness
Staying awake at night and sleeping during the day
Sudden drop in grades
Use of alcohol or drugs and promiscuous sexual activity
Withdrawal from friends
Feeling helpless
Unexplained crying
Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
For in-depth information, see WebMD’s Symptoms of Depression.

Can teen depression run in families?

Yes. Depression, which usually starts between the ages of 15 and 30, sometimes can run in families. In fact, teen depression may be more common among adolescents who have a family history of depression.

How is teen depression diagnosed?

There aren’t any specific medical tests that can detect depression. Health care professionals determine if a teen has depression by conducting interviews and psychological tests with the teen and their family members, teachers, and peers.


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