Teen depression is a critical mental health problem that causes a constant feeling of sadness and a loss of interest in different activities. It affects how your teen feels, thinks, and behaves and can lead to functional, emotional, and physical problems. However, depression can occur at any time in life. Therefore, symptoms and signs of depression among teens and adults can be different.
Some issues like peer pressure, academic expectations, and changing bodies can cause many ups and downs for teens. However, for some teens, being depressed is much more than just temporary feelings – it is a sign of depression in teens.
Teen depression is not a weakness. It is something that can overcome with willpower. Instead, it can have severe consequences and requires long-term treatment. However, for most teens, symptoms of depression are relieved with treatments such as medication and psychological therapy.
Symptoms And Signs Of Depression In Teens
Symptoms and Signs of depression in teens include a change in the adolescent’s previous attitude and behavior. That can lead to significant distress and difficulties at school or home, social activities, or other aspects of life.
Symptoms and Signs of depression can vary in severity. Still, changes in teenagers emotions and behavior may include the following examples.
You should pay attention to emotional changes, such as:
- Frustration or feelings of anger, even over minor matters.
- Irritable or upset mood
- Loss of interest in or conflict with friends and family
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
- Feelings of self-worth or guilt
- Low self-esteem
- Feelings of hopelessness or emptiness
Changes In Behavior
Be aware of changes in behavior, such as the following:
- Tiredness and loss of energy
- Consumption of alcohol or drugs
- Decreased mental alertness, speed of speech, or body movements
- Social isolation
- Less attention to personal hygiene or appearance
- Self-harm – for example, excessive cuts, burns or piercings, or tattoos.
What’s Normal And What Is Not
Talk to your teenager. It is difficult to identify from mood swings that are just a part of young people’s lives and teenage depression. Try to determine if your child is capable of handling complicated feelings or if life seems overwhelming.
When To See The Doctor
If the symptoms and signs of depression continue in teens, they begin to interfere with your adolescent’s life. Or cause you concerns about suicide or your adolescent’s safety, speak with a doctor trained to work with adolescents. Consulting your child’s GP or pediatrician would be a good start. Or maybe they could recommend someone at your child’s school.
Symptoms or signs of depression may not get better on their own and can get worse or cause other problems if left untreated. As a result, depressed teens may be at risk for suicide, even if the signs and symptoms don’t seem terrible.
Being a teenager, you may be depressed or have a friend who may be depressed, don’t wait to ask for help. Consult your doctor or go to the school nurse. Share your concerns with your parents, a close friend, a spiritual leader, a teacher, or someone you trust.
Causes Of Depression In Teens
What causes depression is not known precisely, but there can be a variety of factors involved. Some of them are the following:
1. Brain Chemistry
Neurotransmitters are naturally present in the brain and transmit signals to other parts of the brain and the body. When these chemicals are abnormal or deficient, the function of nerve receptors and nervous systems changes, leading to depression.
May involve hormone changes in the body’s hormonal balance in causing or triggering depression.
3. Childhood Trauma
Traumatic events during childhood, physical or emotional abuse, or the loss of a parent, can cause changes in the brain. It makes a person more susceptible to depression.
4. Inherited Traits
Depression is more common in people having blood relatives, such as a parent or grandparent, who also have the disease.
5 Learned Negative Thinking Patterns
Teen depression may be related to learning to feel hopeless rather than learning to feel capable of finding solutions to life’s challenges.
About Risk Factor’s
Numerous factors increase the risk of developing or triggering depression in adolescents:
- Having problems that negatively impact self-esteem, such as obesity, conflict with peers, prolonged bullying, or academic problems
- Having other mental health conditions, like anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, personality disorder, anorexia, or bulimia
- Being a victim or witness of violence may be sexual or physical abuse.
- Having certain personality traits, viz., low self-esteem or being overly dependent, self-critical, or pessimistic
- Have ongoing pain or a chronic physical illness, such as cancer, diabetes, or asthma
- Abusing alcohol, nicotine, or other drugs
- Being gay, bisexual, or transgender in an environment that rejects you
Family history and problems with family or other people can also increase the adolescent’s risk of depression, for example like Having a parent, grandparent, or other blood relatives who suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, or alcohol problems:
- Having a family member who committed suicide
- Having a dysfunctional and troubled family
- They have recently experienced stressful situations, like the parents’ divorce, the father or the mother from the military, or the death of a loved one.
Depression, not treated, can lead to emotional, behavioral, and health problems, and this affects every area of your teen’s life. Complications related to adolescent depression can include, for example:
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Academic problems
- Family conflicts and difficulties in relationships
- Involvement with the juvenile justice system
- Suicide or suicide attempts
We have don’t have a sure way to prevent depression. However, these strategies can help encourage your teenager to do following these:
- Seeking support from friends and society, especially in times of crisis
- Keep ongoing treatment, if recommended, even after symptoms subside, to avoid a relapse into depression
- Get treatment at the first sign of problems to keep depression from getting worse
- Please take steps to manage stress, build resilience, and improve self-esteem to help manage problems when they arise