As teens struggle through the tough transition period of childhood into young adulthood, it can be difficult to decipher a teen’s behavior. Are their out-of-control emotions and conduct a result of the natural process of adolescence, or is it something more serious?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2016 approximately 3.1 million adolescents between the ages of 12 to 17 experienced at least one episode of major depression. Depression is a serious mood disorder that, if left untreated, can cause serious short and long-term mental and even physical health problems. Moreover, depression carries a high risk of suicide.
Below are six signs you can look for to determine if your teen could be experiencing depression.
1. Excessive Crying and Sadness
While emotions tend to run high in most teenagers, excessive crying and sadness that persist for more than two weeks could be a sign of depression.
2. Loss of Interest and Motivation
When a teen is depressed, they may have trouble concentrating. This will cause them to lose motivation and interest in activities they once enjoyed.
3. Problems at School
The loss of concentration and motivation could also result in problems at school. Skipping school, plunging grades and a lack of participation in school and extracurricular activities are all signs that could be pointing to teen depression.
4. Changes in Weight or Eating Habits
Has your teen’s eating habits changed? Are they skipping meals or eating larger portions more frequently? Eating more or less, as well as dramatic changes in weight (either gained or lost) is one of the signs of depression.
Depression causes people to isolate themselves. It’s not uncommon for a depressed teen to begin to withdraw from friends and family, choosing instead to spend time alone or locked in their room. If your teen is depressed, you may notice them begin to avoid spending time with friends and loved ones.
6. Suicidal Ideation
Thoughts or expressions of death or suicide should never be taken lightly. Threats or even jokes about suicide are a cry for help from your teen. If your teen expresses thoughts of suicide, react calmly, and then seek immediate help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Have you been feeling a bit low lately, but you can’t quite put your finger on why? It may have something to do with your social media habits. According to a recent study, social media use can increase depression and loneliness. For years people have suspected that...
Parents do their best to shield their children from the harsh realities of the world. But as much of an effort as they put in, parents can’t always protect their children from experiencing the pain of loss. Whether it’s the loss of a beloved pet, a childhood friend,...
“God, you can be so stupid sometimes.” “Why would he be attracted to YOU?” “You’re just going to screw this up.” These are things you would probably never say to another human being unless you’re a real jerk. But how many of us have that inner critic that says these...
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!