Table of Content
What is Depression?
Depression is different from “being sad”. Feeling sorrow or sadness from time to time is a normal response to painful or distressing events. However, the feelings of sorrow persist for weeks or months, it can be a sign of depression. Depression is one of the most common mood disorders.
Depression is a mood disorder that causes relentless feelings of sorrow or loss.
What is Teen Depression?
Depression is common during adolescence. However, its symptoms might be different than that of adult depression. Teens often seem more irritable than sad when they're depressed.
Teenage years are a difficult time on its own – due to hormonal changes, peer pressure, school performance, relationship issues, fraught friendships etc. During this period, having to deal with depression too, can add even more stress for your teen. There are many different types of adolescent depression.
Types of Depression in Teens
Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood
Teens might suffer from adjustment disorder when they are unable to cope with a major life event – such as, changing to a new school, moving to a new city, death of a loved one or their parents’ divorce. It can last for months.
Connect your teen with a psychologist who can help them through the situation using talk therapy or other means.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
This is a low-grade chronic depression that lasts for more than a year. Teens suffering from this have low energy and low self-esteem. They can be irritable and feel hopeless. It can affect their learning and academic performance. It can also impact their social life and overall functioning.
Contact a mental health professional for your child’s proper growth and emotional wellbeing. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and medication are very effective in treating this disorder.
A person suffering from bipolar disorder has periods of mania followed by periods of depression. These severe mood swings can affect their daily life, social, and academic life.
During the depressive episode, the teen exhibits symptoms of depression including apathy, fatigue and sadness. During a manic episode, your teen can be extremely elated, happy or silly. They tend to talk very fast, have trouble focusing, and might not be able to sleep. During this period, they can have a short temper and might indulge in risky behaviour.
Consult a psychologist as bipolar is usually best treated with a combination of medication and therapy.
Major depression is a severe and serious form of depression. It can have serious consequences and requires long-term treatment. It can cause severe impairments in the emotional wellbeing and overall growth of your child.
Persistent sorrow, irritability, feelings of hopelessness, suicidal ideation etc. are signs of major depression. Please consult a mental health professional to treat major depression through therapy and if needed, medication.
People with depression, especially teenagers, may not recognise it in themselves. As a family member, understand the signs of depression, so as to recognise it in your teen children, if needed.
Symptoms of Depression in Teens
Teenagers with depression tend to have a noticeable change in behaviour. They might isolate themselves and cut off their relationship with friends and family members. Some of the common signs of depression is given below:
In many teenagers, depression can seem like disinterest or apathy to life, rather than just sadness. It leaches their joy, energy, and interest in life. They might even withdraw from their friends.
Sometimes complaints of headaches, stomach aches or fatigue can be due to depression.
Changes in Behaviour:
A marked change from previous behaviour might point to issues with mental health. Changes in sleeping patterns such as suffering from insomnia, or excessive tiredness, and changes in eating habits – overeating or loss of appetite – are signs of depression. Depression could be the underlying cause of sudden variations in academic performance.
Issues with Attention:
Young people suffering from depression might have trouble concentrating and can have difficulty in making decisions. They can have issues with anxiety, feel hopeless or feel excessive and inappropriate guilt. Teens suffering from depression can be very sensitive to criticisms or failure.
Adolescents with depression might exhibit irresponsible behaviour like skipping school, being late or forgetting their responsibilities and obligations. They can also have rebellious behaviour or indulge in activities of self-harm. Teens might also showcase addictive behaviour and might get addicted to video games, internet, drugs or alcohol.
Preoccupation with Death:
Adolescent depression can result in a preoccupation with death and dying. Teens with depression have a bleak outlook on life. They might often talk about feeling hopeless and have negative thoughts.
Frequently indulging in fatalistic humour, talking about “not wanting to exist” or feeling that “I shouldn’t have been born at all” are warning signs that point towards the risk of suicide. Teen suicide is a serious issue and you should contact a mental health professional immediately!
When left unchecked, severe depression in teens can even lead to suicidal thoughts or teen suicide.
Teen suicide is a vital problem. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among youth worldwide. Suicide is an act of desperation and teen depression is often the root cause. Hence, it is vital that we recognise depression in our teens. Warning signs of suicide with teen depression include:
→ substance abuse, using alcohol or drugs to feel better
→ extreme hopelessness and saying things like “Nothing will ever get better”, “I wish I didn’t exist” etc.
→ preparing for death, giving away favourite possessions, writing goodbye letters etc.
→ self-harm, joking about killing oneself or threatening to kill one's self
If your teen showcases any of these symptoms, get urgent help or call us at +91 97414 76476!
How to Help Someone with Depression:
Have Open Channels of Communication:
Invest time in your children and talk with them – about daily life, their interests, their worries. Doing chores together – such as cooking or washing the car – can also help establish rapport.
Be non-judgmental and listen to your children with an open heart. Take their concerns seriously (no matter how trivial it may seem to you) and be kind. This can help you assess your teen's mental state and figure out if they suffer from depression.
Ensure a Healthy Lifestyle:
Ensure that your adolescents get adequate nutrition, exercise and sleep. Lead by example instead of advising them. Exercising regularly, meditating, and journaling can significantly improve your mental wellbeing.
Get Professional Help:
Most parents wouldn’t hesitate in visiting a doctor if their teen has a hormone imbalance. However, when it comes to depression, which is also a chemical imbalance in your brain, people hesitate to seek professional help in treating depression.
Teen depression isn't a weakness or something that can be overcome with willpower. It is a medical condition that requires treatment. For most teens, depression symptoms ease with treatment such as therapy, psychological counselling and medication.
You can always call us at +91 9741476476 or visit our website for more information!
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