Pimples, boyfriends, social media, the high school drama. Today’s teens have it pretty rough. You may find yourself asking, “Is this normal teenage moodiness or something else?”
With the surge of hormones, rapidly changing feelings, and social obsession the teenage years can be challenging.
It may be hard to tell if what your teen is feeling is normal teenage behavior.
Between 15 to 20 % of teens experience depression before adulthood, and less than half of these teens are being treated for depression. Untreated depression in teens can have many negative long-term effects. Teens with prolonged depression are at greater risk of suicide, are less likely to complete high-school, and may lead the teen to developpoor self-confidence and low self-esteem.
Many times depression in teens is overlooked because it is confused with being “a part of the teenage process.”
Depression in teens is very different from teenage moodiness.
Signs of depression in teens :
If you aren’t sure if what your teen is feeling is really depression or normal teenage moodiness, the following list includes key signs of major depression in teens. You can use this list to help you determine if your teen may need some extra help.
• Your teen is cutting or engaging in other self harm behaviors.
• Someone in you family has depression or other mental problems.
• Your teen’s not doing well in school, is less social, or has quit hobbies or recreational activities.
• Your teen has thoughts of suicide, or a history of suicide attempts.
• Your teen thinks they are worthless and often focuses on their flaws or negative traits.
• Your teen’s sleeping and eating patterns have significantly changed.
• Your teen is experiencing anxiety and often feels overwhelmed.
• Others, including yourself, have noticed an obvious change in your teen’s personality.
• Your teen has reported feelings of sadness or depression lasting longer than a 2 week period.
• Your teen recently experienced a significant life stressor including the loss of a love one, family life conflict, abuse or trauma, or issues with gender/sexual orientation.
Teens who seek counseling for depression are less likely to be affected by long-term depression and report a greater sense of well-being. Therapy for teen’s with depression can reduce many negative side effects including substance abuse, eating disorders, suicide, other high risk behaviors.
If you or someone you love is experiencing depression, or you believe you are at risk, seek further consultation. This checklist is not intended to be used in leu of professional assistance, and a diagnosis can not be made without proper consultation with a mental health professional. For more information visit www.RanchoCounseling.com or contact Raquel Buchanan, MA. at (818) 839-2032.