The teenage years are often a busy and trying time for both kids and their parents.  Teens are learning to deal with more adult situations as their bodies continue to take on an adult size and their brains are developing to their full potential (anatomically and chemically).  Their parents are dealing with their babies now making different choices and often choices that they don’t necessarily agree with.  But no matter what the events are that occurring, as parents, we need to recognize when behaviors are not normal for their child. 

The following is an excerpt taken from an article written by Sagari Gongola from www.momjunction.com.

Signs And Symptoms Of Clinical Depression

Sure, teenagers are moody most of the time, and they may feel sad and hopeless too. But these feelings last only until they find a solution to their problem, or until the circumstances are back to being ideal. However, if there is a persistent feeling of sadness that lasts for at least two weeks, it could indicate clinical depression in teens.

Symptoms and signs of depression in teens are as follows.

SYMPTOMS – EMOTIONAL CHANGES

SIGNS – BEHAVIORAL CHANGES

·       Persistent feeling of sadness, which includes crying spells: the teen may feel like crying for no apparent reason

·       Feeling hopeless, empty, or purposeless

·       Feeling irritable and angry even at trivial issues

·       Feels detached; things don’t seem to matter anymore

·       Feeling guilty for everything that goes wrong

·       Feeling tired even for simple, everyday things

·       Unusual beliefs and hallucinations

·       Feeling worthless, prominent thoughts such as “I am no good or no use to anyone” or “I’m better off dead”

·       Self-blame and self-loathing

·       Fixation on past mistakes, exaggerating them, and feeling overly guilty

·       Lack of concentrate, and clarity of thought

·       Believing that the future is grim and it is not worth living in

·       Frequent thoughts of suicide, killing self, and imagining death

·       Is apathetic, shows no interest in things that were of interest previously

·       Cranky and irritated all the time

·       Cries more often, regardless of where they are

·       Loses interest in eating, loses weight

·       Change in personal hygiene and appearance – these usually become unimportant

·       Poor academic performance

·       Complains of being tired all the time, sleeps a lot

·       Loses interest in hobbies or sports that they usually enjoy

·       Forgetful: misses appointments and forgets schedules

·       Abuse of alcohol or drugs

·       Slow thinking, slower response rate, or body movements

·       Complains of aches in the body

·       Avoiding social events, even friends

·       Increased outbursts of anger; some teens may become more aggressive and violent

·       Harms self, or talks about harming self

·       Planning or attempting suicide

If your child shows any of these signs, seek medical help as soon as possible. When the symptoms become severe, the risks also get bigger. Teenagers dealing with depression are at the risk of:

  • ·        Getting into trouble at school
  •           Substance abuse
  • ·         Eating disorders
  • ·         Internet addiction
  • ·         Self-injury
  • ·         Reckless behavior, especially if they drive a car
  • ·         Violence
  • ·         Suicide
If you think that a depressed teen is at the risk of hurting herself or someone else, call emergency services immediately! If you are not sure if the teenager is just ‘being a teen’ or is depressed, consult a mental health specialist.