Ask any parent what their main job is and they will tell you it’s protecting their children and keeping them safe. New parents spend hours, if not days, baby-proofing the house. They research the best car seats and bike helmets and figure out ways to ensure their kids are safe online.
But, no matter how hard parents work to keep their kids safe, it is very difficult to protect children against mental health issues such as depression. According to the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A), depression affects roughly 11% of adolescents by age 18.
If you are unsure as to whether your own child may be suffering from depression, here are 6 signs to look for:
1. More Than Just Mood Swings
Thanks to raging hormones, it is quite normal for teenagers to experience mood swings. But those suffering from depression will show wilder and more frequent swings into and out of anger, sadness and irritability.
2. Academic Problems
A drop in grades and notes from teachers can be a big signal that something is going on. Is your teen getting to school late and/or cutting classes? Are they not showing up at all? Never ignore academic problems.
3. Changes in Social Behavior
Is your child spending less time with their friends? Do they have new friendships that you question? Or are they spending more and more time isolated? Changes in social behavior are often the first signal kids are in trouble.
4. A Loss of Interest in Their Favorite Activities
Did your teen use to love playing basketball or spend hours drawing? Have they suddenly lost interest in these activities? If your child no longer shows interest in favorite hobbies and activities, this is an indicator that something is wrong.
5. A Lack of Motivation
Granted, teenagers are not known for being highly-motivated individuals, but those suffering from depression will show a marked decline in motivation.
6. A Family History of Depression
If you or someone else in your family suffer from depression, there is a very good chance your teen may also suffer from it.
If you have noticed one or more of these signs, it’s important to seek help from a counselor. While you may want to, you can’t love depression away. It needs strategic attention and a plan for management.
A therapist will be able to assess your teen for depression and provide coping skills and tools for dealing with symptoms. If you or a loved one are concerned for a teen’s safety and would like to explore treatment options, please contact us today. We would be happy to speak with you about how we may be able to help.
Being a parent is the hardest job on the planet. But being a parent of a child with a mental illness can feel unbearable at times. All parents want to do what’s right for their kids, but when your child is sick, either physically or mentally, the desire to “get it...
Bullying has become a national epidemic. According to recent data, between 1/4 and 1/3 of school children say they have been bullied. And, according to surveys, roughly 30% of young people admit to bullying others. While much research has gone into how we can prevent...
When a loved one is depressed, it’s often difficult to know what to say. Even with the best of intentions, friends and family can often say the wrong thing, which can make the person feel misunderstood and even more isolated. If you’ve never suffered from depression,...
Quick! Get Your "Top Tips For Getting the Most Out of Counseling" Cheatsheet!
Like some of what you've seen and want to see more? Sign up for our Mailing List for a free cheat sheet on making the most out of counseling. Our list members also gain access to exclusive specials and announcements, as well as the latest from our Counseling Blog!