Teenage depression consists of more than just a teenager being in a bad mood or feeling melancholy. It is a very serious problem that negatively affects every aspect of a teen’s life. Teen depression can lead to drug and alcohol abuse, self-mutilation, violence and even suicide. Depression strikes teenagers more than most people think it does and even though depression is very treatable, the majority of depressed teens do not receive the help they need. When an adult has depression, he or she can seek out the help he/she needs. A depressed teen, on the other hand, relies on parents, teachers and others to recognize that they are suffering. If you have a teenager in your life, it’s important that you are able to recognize depression so you can help the teen get the necessary treatment.
Because teenagers can be moody, it can be difficult to determine if a teen is depressed or is just experiencing a typical teenage mood swing. Not every teen with depression appears sad, nor are they always withdrawn from others. Here are a few signs and symptoms which could indicate that your teen is suffering from depression:
If you suspect that a teenager in your life is suffering from depression, don’t just wait for the signs and symptoms to go away. Instead, speak with your teenager in a loving way and share your concerns about the signs of depression you have noticed. Encourage your teen to talk to you about what he or she is going through. Your teen may be unwilling to open up because he or she may feel ashamed or fearful that you won’t understand or some teens with depression simply find it hard to express what they are feeling. If your teenager says that nothing is wrong but cannot explain what is causing the signs of depression you observe, go with your gut instinct and set up an appointment with a psychologist who specializes in treating teenagers.
It can be challenging for parents to cope with a teen who is showing signs and symptoms of depression. If you would like to learn more about teen depression or wish to schedule an appointment for your teenager please contact me at 310-892-2572. I provide counseling for adolescents in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, El Segundo, Torrance, and the whole South Bay area.