Depression that affects teenagers or adolescents is not just mood changes. Sometimes it can give a significant impact to their life. So this problem should be concerned as well, if left untreated it may lead to abusing alcohol & drug, violence, problems related to self-loathing, bad lifestyle, or even thoughts of suicide.
Fortunately, this mood disorder can be treated. If you in-doubt to the condition of your teens, seek and find help from health professionals for more advice!
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There are some misperceptions about teen depression. As well we know that teenage years are tough, making teenagers at high risk of developing depression.
This mood disorder can be potential to destroy and affect the teenager’s personality. It may cause an ‘overwhelming’ sense of anger, despair, and sadness. It may affect teenagers far more than we ever thought before.
Unfortunately although it may be highly treatable, there is only about 1 out of 5 depressed teens who get appropriate treatments.
The poor ability of teenagers to find and seek help is probably the main culprit. Unlike a depressed adult, they typically rely on their caregivers, teachers, or parents to identify the problem.
Therefore if we have an adolescent, it’s important for us to learn what depression in teenagers looks like and what appropriate steps to do before it gets worse.
There are some common symptoms, some are as follows:
- Retraction from friends.
- Suddenly decreased point in grades.
- Listlessness or apathy.
- Having feeling of hopelessness, sadness, or sometimes anxiety.
- Weight changes (both weight loss and weight gain) – particularly for sudden weight changes. Some depressed teens experience compulsive overeating, while others may have appetite loss.
- Excessive feeling of guilty.
- Poor, decreased concentration, decreased memory (memory loss), and difficulty in taking a decision.
- Abusing alcohol or even illegal drugs.
- A disorder in sexual activity.
- Some changes in behavior, such as rebellious behavior and irresponsible habits.
- Sleeping troubles.
- Having preoccupation with dying or even death.
- Sometimes physical symptoms may also occur. These include fatigue, back pain or low back pain, headaches, and stomach pain.
Adolescents may have a lot of pressures, from changes of their puberty to self-questions of who actually they are and where they will fit in! Furthermore, the transition phase from kid to adult may also result in some parental conflicts as they begin to affirm their independence.
With all of these issues, sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish between the natural teenage moodiness and depression.
There are a wide number of reasons why depression affects adolescents.
For instance, teens can have feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness over their grades. The environment in their family, the status of social with their peers, their school performance, and even their orientation in sex could factor into what they feel.
Environmental stress may also have a role. In general, people around them would have a contribution on what they feel. It’s important for teenagers to get support from their environment.
If left untreated, teen depression could be harmful, leading to one or some of of the following problems:
- Violence! Depressed teens (especially for boys who get bullying) are more likely to become an angry individual.
- Excessive addiction with internet! To ease their depression, they may solve the problem by going online (having internet addiction). This addiction can put them at greater chance of having more isolation.
- Easily to have feelings of unworthiness or ugliness.
- Reckless habits (high-risk behaviors), such as doing unsafe sex, reckless driving, and so on.
- Abusing alcohol & drugs!
- Decreased performance in their school.
There is no standard, specific test to diagnose teen depression.
In many cases, doctors usually do some psychological tests and interviews. These procedures are usually also done with their family, friends, and teachers.