Some things in this world can’t be denied, and when it comes to teens and moodiness, this is definitely the case. Teens are known for being temperamental, as they’re in transition from child to adult. Since adolescents are naturally up and down, it can be hard to tell when they are depressed. But true depression is much different.
It’s estimated that about 20% of teens experience depression before they reach adulthood, and only 30% are treated for the condition. This means that many teens are left untreated, and this can, unfortunately, lead to alcohol and drug abuse.
The Top 10 Signs Of Depression In Teens
Recognizing the condition is the best gift you can give your child. Here are the top 10 signs of depression in teens.
- Feelings of Hopelessness: Despite what many think, teens are not naturally melancholy. Watch for signs of anger, irritability, hopelessness and a pessimistic view of the world.
- Social Withdrawal: Socializing is very important to teens, so take any signs of withdrawal seriously. It’s not uncommon for teens to keep one or two friends around, however.
- Loss of Interests: Changes in interests happen naturally, but generally they are gradual. If your teen has suddenly lost interest in sports or going out, it could be a sign of depression or substance abuse.
- Aches and Pains: Sometimes depression manifests in physical symptoms like aches and pains. Unexplained stomachaches, headaches and backaches could be related to depression.
- Dropping Grades: Declining grades that happen suddenly are often a cause for concern. It could be drug addiction and depression at the root of it all. Talk to your teen’s teachers to get the full scoop.
- Sleep Changes: Teens don’t always have the most predictable sleep cycles, but you can learn a lot by taking notice. Teens with depression often struggle to fall asleep, then end up tired and slow in the morning.
- Appetite Changes: Watching what your teen eats is another way to learn about them. Some teens with depression “comfort eat” and gain weight, while others have no interest in eating.
- Thoughts of Suicide: Teens generally won’t come right out and say they’re having suicidal thoughts, but there are statements and behaviors to be aware of such as, “You’d be better off without me.”
- Sensitive to Criticism: Teens don’t like to be criticized, but if your teen is particularly sensitive to it, they may be feeling very low.
- Lack of Motivation: The stereotype is that teens are lazy, but this is another misconception. Slow moving, staying in bed all day and declining invitations could signal an underlying depression and drug addiction.
Please note that only a doctor can diagnose your teen with depression. If you are concerned about your teen’s well-being, please consult with a medical professional immediately.
Teen Treatment Program
The River Source has an effective teen treatment program for male youth, ages 13-17, and we are experienced at treating both depression and addiction. We will develop a customized treatment plan that addresses both components for you and your teen’s individual needs and goals.
Call Us Now To Start The Journey Today & Give Your Child The Gift Of A Happy, Sober Life!