Depression is a major problem in today’s lifestyle and can be found in any age group. There are many causes for the feelings of depression. The problem of depression has become quite persistent among teenagers. The feeling of depression usually restricts the regular or normal behavior of a teenager making your child restless and more anxious throughout the day. So It is important for parents to recognize when a pre-teen or teenage child is depressed because early intervention treatment is more effective. Teenagers who suffer from depression and it goes untreated can be a risk of suicide. If your teenager has been depressed for at least 6 months you should treat them as if you see a physical disease.
What causes Teenage Depression?
The problem of depression in teenagers and children is often due to hereditary reasons. Studies have shown that people that have bipolar disorder do in fact have different genetic makeup than those that do not get this illness. But, everybody that has this genetic makeup does not get the illness. There are other factors that may help with the onset of this type of depression-like stresses brought on at work, home, or school.
Major depression also appears to happen to people who have had family members in their past with this disorder. It can also happen to anyone whether it’s in their family line or not. This type of depression sometimes happens due to a change in brain structure or function.
Besides family history, different factors that play a role in inflicting depression are social surroundings, medical conditions, and negative thought patterns. For teens, a stressful home atmosphere or neighborhood economic condition and violence can also cause depression.
Other potential triggers for young depression can be learning disabilities and physical sickness. Drug and drug abuse can also have an effect on mood and cause depression, and plenty of teens address these substances to medicate their emotions.
Teenage depression is a serious medical problem and you need to know how to recognize the signs and symptoms. All teenagers go through bouts of being angry, belligerent, irritable, and even at times hostile. When this type of behavior lasts for at least 6 months this is an indication that there is a more serious problem just under the surface. These signs should be addressed properly, or else it will lead to more complicated emotional and physical problems.
The common signs of Teenage Depression are:
- Your teenager feels low or blue most of the time.
- Your teenager becomes irritable
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Insomnia or sleeplessness, or the need for more sleep
- Low energy, lacking the desire to do anything
- Your teenager says things that show their low self-esteem or feelings of worthlessness
- Suicidal thoughts, ideation, or threats – sometimes will even mention a plan of action
- Lower grades in school
- Decreased activities, interactions with peers, or sudden change in friends
- Your teenager seems confused when trying to make decisions
- Low frustration level
- Frequent bouts of crying,
- Your teenager has no interest in their usual activities
If your teenager says certain tell-tale things that indicate teenage depression and stays in this mood for more than six months, it is time to seek professional help. Some of the statements that you might hear your child repeat in cases of teenage depression are:
I wish I were dead, I can’t do anything right. I am worthless or I don’t care. It doesn’t matter anyway.
Children with depression often do not have the motivation or energy to talk to anyone about how they feel and they do not understand they could have a problem. Most do not even believe they have a problem.
So, it is very important that friends and family help. The best way to help someone with teenage depression is to support them by talking them into seeking professional help. Let them know that you are there for them. Offer to take them to the doctor and if they want you to go back to visit the doctor with them at least in the beginning sessions if the doctor thinks this is okay. Get them out and back in the swing of life. Sitting alone in your room does not help with the feelings of loneliness and unworthiness often associated with teenage depression. Be there for them and let them know that there is a treatment for teenage depression.