For a lot of parents, identifying that their teen may be suffering from depression can be quite difficult. Common symptoms of depression, such as mood swings, can easily be viewed as growing pains. However, depression is actually a lot more common amongst teens than you might think.
Depression Amongst Teens
Almost all teens have moments where they lash out or they withdraw. This can result from conflicts in their adolescent social life, the pressures of school and the struggle to deal with physical changes that are caused by puberty. These challenges can result in some anxiety or irritability. Teens will often mask their feelings, lash out with risky behaviors or simply withdraw from activities they once enjoyed. However, it’s important that you are able to recognize a potential issue if your teen is having such problems more and more regularly.
Another challenge that parents have, besides being able to tell the difference between regular teen moodiness and actual depression, is that many parents don’t want to believe that their teens could be struggling with depression. This is especially true with parents who don’t fully understand what depression is.
Recognizing Teen Depression
So how exactly can you tell if your teen is suffering from depression or simply dealing with the struggles of everyday life that every teen has to deal with? Some of the common signs of clinical depression to look for include the following:
- Your teen exhibits a drastic change in their appetite
- Your teen experiences trouble sleeping
- Your teen suffers from prolonged sadness
- Your teen is overly anxious
- Your teen shows a decreased amount of energy
- Your teen has difficulty concentrating
- Your teen has excessive feelings of guilt or worthlessness
If you notice any of these signs and they last for more than a few days, then you should talk to your teen. Make sure that you are positive and encouraging when you ask them to share their thoughts and feelings. Try to listen to what they say without judging them, and make sure that you acknowledge that their thoughts and feelings are real.
If they threaten to hurt themselves or share suicidal thoughts, always take them seriously. Teen suicides are the leading cause of death for young people. If you decide that your child might have depression, then make sure that you seek professional help for your teen by contacting us at Isaiah Counseling & Consulting today.
To schedule an appointment or discuss your specific needs, Contact Isaiah Counseling and Consulting in Charlotte, NC.
Isaiah Counseling and Consulting provides professional counseling services in the Charlotte, NC area. Our counseling services include, marriage and couples counseling, counseling for women and men and counseling for children.