How Can You – as a Teen – Know you’re Depressed?

Adolescence is a difficult stage for teens. Peer pressure, stress from obtaining academic achievements, social acceptance, not to mention changing hormones all contribute to natural, changing behavior. This is a difficult time for teens, and a time when troubled teen behavior may potentially develop.

Yet, is there a difference between the common adolescent mood swings or hormone changes and teen depression? The answer is yes. More importantly, how can teens recognize the difference?

Parents may have the ability to more easily realize or “sense” an extreme shift in personalities or behavior patterns in their teen – maybe more so than the teens themselves. Yet, it’s important for the teen to fully understand the difference between common “highs and lows” and the sure signs of teen depression.

Understanding depression is pertinent to ensure a teen’s happiness and wellbeing. There’s nothing wrong with expressing emotions to parents, a health care provider or even teachers. In fact, it’s strongly encouraged if a teen senses that something is wrong.

There’s a plethora of online information and programs for teen depression, troubled teen services, and even online resources through various troubled teen residential programs to better understand teen depression. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are both behavioral and emotional changes and here are just a few symptoms of teen depression:

Behavioral Changes

  • Do you have feelings of sadness or sometimes experience crying spells for no reason?
  • Are you experiencing frustration or feelings of anger, even over small matters?
  • Do you often feel hopeless or empty?
  • Are activities no longer providing you with enjoyment?
  • Do you have feelings of worthlessness or guilt?
  • Are you experiencing a continuous sense that life or the future is dismal?
  • Do you have frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide?

 

Emotional Changes

  • Are you constantly tired with a loss of energy, experience insomnia or sleep too much?
  •  Has your appetite decreased or losing weight? Or, do you have increased cravings for food and weight gain?
  • Are you using alcohol or drugs?
  • Is your performance in school declining or are there frequent absences from school?
  • Are you paying less attention to hygiene or personal appearance?
  • Do you have angry outbursts or similar acting-out behaviors?
  • Do you think about cutting or burning yourself?
  • Are you thinking about a suicide plan or a suicide attempt?

It can be difficult to recognize the difference between the common “ups and downs” and teen depression. Yet, if you – as a teen – think you might be depressed or know a friend that is, express your concerns to a parent, health care provider, a close friend, or someone else you trust to effectively rectify the situation much earlier, than later.

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