Depression in Teenagers

We all know that the teenage years can be tough. They tend to be full of emotional rollercoasters, sassy attitudes, and insecurities. For some, it can be hard to determine if your child is just being a regular teenager with mood swings and irritability or if they are battling a more serious depressive episode. It is important to develop open lines of communication with your child in hopes they will talk to you about the social, academic, and societal pressures they are under, the demands of fitting in, and the hardships with trying to figure out who they really are.  

Depression in teens can be hard to diagnose as it often gets chalked up to "normal teenage moodiness." Research nowadays states that nearly 1 in 5 teenagers suffer from depression so keep a look out at these things in your teenagers:

  • Poor performance in school

  • Withdrawal from friends and activities

  • Sadness and hopelessness

  • Lack of enthusiasm, energy or motivation

  • Anger and rage

  • Overreaction to criticism

  • Feelings of being unable to satisfy ideals

  • Poor self-esteem or guilt

  • Indecision, lack of concentration or forgetfulness

  • Restlessness and agitation

  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns

  • Substance abuse

  • Problems with authority

  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

  • Promiscuity 

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Seek professional help if you observe changes in these areas and the duration is lasting more than 2 weeks. Treatment for teenage depression can include psychotherapy, medication management, and group therapy. There are plenty of resources for parents and teenagers alike to help fight this disease and remember, you are not alone!