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Teen Angst or Teen Depression?

Teen depression is a deliberate health problem and, if left undetected, impacts every aspect of a teen’s life and can even lead to death. However, if encountered, it can be successfully treated and the impact upon the teen’s life minimized.

Teens rely on parents, teachers, and other caregivers to observe their struggles and get them help when they need it. This makes it essential for adults to know how to identify the warning signs of depression in the teens.

Signs of Teen Depression

Warning signs of depression in teens are not always noticeable. While hormones and stress explain occasional spell of teen angst, continuous and unrelenting unhappiness, lethargy, or irritability indicate something more serious. In addition to irritability and sadness, if you observe a consistent rise in several of the following symptoms it may indicate depression:

  • Tearfulness or crying outbreak
  • Loss of interest in normal activities
  • Eating more or less than normal
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Lack of motivation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Change in school performance
  • Sleeping more or less than normal
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • Lack of energy
  • Unexplained aches and pains

Start a Conversation

Depression can be very detrimental when left untreated. It is important not to just wait and hope the symptoms dissipate. Even if you are unsure the issue is depression, you need to start a conversation with your teen about the respecting behaviors and emotions you have been observing.

Start by letting your teen knows you care about them and wish to help. Let them know you have been observing specific changes in their behavior and emotions and want to understand what is happening for them and what they are going through and listen to whatever they share.

Focus on Listening

Resist the impulse to ask a lot of questions as this can cause teens to feel interrogated and controlled instead of heard and understood. You will also need to refrain from criticizing or passing judgment on what your teen shares.  Focus on letting your teen know you are completely willing to listen to whatever they choose to share.

Collaborate to Determine Treatment Choices

When the symptoms your teen is experiencing are making it tough for them to function effectively, it is time to seek professional assistance. Mental health professionals comfortable treating teens can support diagnose and treat the difficulties your teen is experiencing.

Maintain Hope

Around 20% of teens experience depression, when the adults in their world help them to talk about what they are experiencing and have treatment for their depression, these teens recover and live healthy and fulfilling lives.

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