Teens are hard to read, it is as simple as that, they may seem happy one moment then angry then utterly depressed. If you feel as if your teen may be suffering from depression it is important to first know a thing or two about the symptoms to look for and how to tactfully deal with them. While screaming and smothering may seem like the first viable options, often times there are other avenues that are far more productive when it comes to dealing with Symptoms of depression in teens. Recognizing the symptoms of depression in teens is the first step to healing.
The first and foremost symptoms of depression in teens to look for is changes in overall behavior. If your teen is normally outgoing, bubbly, and generally pleasant to be around then suddenly they become sullen or unhappy, this is likely a sign of depression. Change in behavior can be a sign of many things, stress, bullying, and hormone changes can all attribute to depression in teens. The teenage years are the formative years of any child’s life and as such they deal with quite a few things that adults simply cannot or do not remember from their own youth. If your teen displays severe changes in behavior that last for more than a day or two it may be time to talk to them about what is bothering them. Though talking can seem a bit intimidating, it may open up an avenue of communication that did not previously exist. Taking the time to let teens know that you are there and willing to talk is the first step, it is important to remember not to push.
One of the other symptoms of depression in teens is to look for changes in appetite. Most people assume that when a teenager stops eating it is simply to look like some celebrity or to follow some fad diet, however, changes in eating can be linked directly to depression. Either starving or binge eating are both signs of depression that should be taken very seriously. Make sure that if your teen displays severe changes in eating you take the time to discuss things like proper nutrition with them, also take a chance and ask them what is bothering them. The best way to combat depression in teens and adults is to first recognize that it exists and is a viable problem that needs to be solved.
Yet another sign of depression in teens is loss or change of friends. This can mean that your teen stops hanging out with the friends that they have always had, they change friends suddenly and without warning, or they stop hanging out with other teens all together. Isolation or a feeling of isolation is a common side effect of depression and can be combatted. Taking the time to talk to your teens friends and learn about changes in mood or behavior prior to the changing of friends can help clue parents in to the fact that they may just be changing friends or if it is something more serious. Paying attention to the symptoms of depression in teens is the best way to insure that teens get the help they need.
Still another sign of depression in teens is a rapid change in identity. This can be a teens way of reaching out to parents to let them know that something is wrong. Generally, teens do not change their carefully cultivated image for nothing. In most cases, these changes are a cry for help on the part of the child. They want to get a rise out of parents so that they know that something is wrong. If your teen changes dress, attitude, hair, makeup or other physical characteristics dramatically and quickly it may be a sign that something is wrong and they want your attention on the matter. Talking to your child may not be enough in this case, it may be necessary to talk to peers about changes to pinpoint the exact time the changes began to occur. This can help pinpoint any pivotal moment in your teen’s life.
Lastly, physical changes like cutting, taking pills, or rapid weight gain or weight loss is another sign of depression. It may manifest in physical malady that is often associated with the immune system taking a nose dive when a child is seriously depressed. If your child exhibits these symptoms it is time to take them to a physician to see what can be done. If at any time the symptoms of your child’s depression becomes dramatic or very intense, you should seek medical help immediately. While talking is a great place to start, it is generally not enough to completely remedy the problem. It is always best to seek the help of a trained medical professional and discuss treatment options. Treatment can be as simple as therapy or as intense as a medication regimen. If at any time you fear for the safety of your child seek immediate medical help.