It is normal for teenagers to feel ‘blue’ occasionally. In fact, it is expected because adolescence is an unsettling time during which teenagers experience many social, psychological, and emotional changes.
This is compounded by unrealistic expectations from friends and family, which cause teens to feel rejected and disappointed.
Teens need adult guidance to understand the physical and emotional changes that they undergo. This means that you need to talk to your teen frequently to make sure that he or she is on the right track.
What can you do?
As a parent, you should watch out for any red flags, including anger and irritability. You can do this quite easily if you usually have face-to-face conversations with your teen. When your child is speaking, you should focus on listening and not lecturing.
Moreover, you should encourage your teen to spend time with friends. Moreover, you should make sure that he or she is getting enough exercise, sleep, and the right nutrition.
What are the symptoms of depression?
Unlike adults who can seek help on their own, teens usually rely on teachers, parents, and other caregivers to notice their suffering and help them. Therefore, if you have any teen in your life, you need to know the signs and symptoms of depression.
Although it might seem easy to recognize them, some of the signs and symptoms are not obvious.
The common signs and symptoms of depression in teens include anger, irritability, loss of interest in activities, frequent crying, and changes in sleeping and eating habits, difficulty concentrating, unexplained aches, poor school performance, and suicidal thoughts.
Is it depression or growing pains?
Of course, acting out and moodiness are common in teens. This does not necessarily mean that the child is depressed. However, if you notice persistent changes in behavior, mood, and personality, these could be red flags indicating a deeper problem.
If you are not sure whether your child is just acting out or depressed, consider how long he or she has had the symptoms and how severe they are. How different is your child acting?
Hormones can explain the occasional spells of angst, but not continuous irritability, lethargy, and sadness.
Suicide warning signs
Depressed teens usually think about, attempt, or speak about suicide. Alarmingly, a big number of teen suicide attempts are successful, so you need to take suicidal thoughts and behaviors seriously. For the majority of suicidal teenagers, depression plays a major role.
The warning signs that you need to watch out for include talking and joking about suicide, saying things like ‘I wish I was dead’, romanticizing of death, reckless behavior that results in injury, and saying goodbye to friends and family.
Do not ignore the problem
Depression is a damaging condition and if left untreated, it only gets worse. Therefore, you should not ignore it and hope that the symptoms will disappear. If you think that your kid is depressed, you should address the problem immediately.
The answer is not to buy him or her things to mask the problem. Just as replacing old fixtures with modern sinks for bathrooms won’t fix leaky pipes, trying to buy your child’s way out of depression won’t work either.
Talk with your teen and let him/her know that you have noticed some symptoms of depression and that they worry you. Do not ask many questions that will make him/her feel patronized.
Just make it clear that you are willing to be a pillar of support. Make sure that you ask your child to share what he or she is going through.
If your child is indeed depressed, you should not blame yourself or anyone in your family. The blame game only makes a stressful situation worse.
Is your child showing signs of depression?
You should visit mental health centers and consult with caring practitioners of psychology and psychiatry who can offer invaluable insight and treatment.