We were all teenagers once, so we know how hard that phase of life can be. We remember the intense emotions, dreading school (and some social situations even more), the stress of homework, and the weight of peer pressure. We thought we were never going to make it to adulthood. However, those experiences helped shape how we deal with things in our current lives.
Some teens have a harder time than others. These struggles could be hereditary or environmental, or even a mix of both. But how do you know whether your teenager is just dealing with regular hormonal changes and mood swings or if it is something more serious, like depression?
Teen depression is real and needs to be addressed. One out of every five teens have experienced some type of depression at least once. As many as over 80-percent of those who get treatment feel better within a few weeks. Yet only about half of teens that are depressed receive anykind of treatment. Even more alarming is that suicide is the second leading cause of death in teens and young adults.
Because depression in teenagers can be mistaken for “just” moodiness or fluctuating hormones and “growing pains,” it is essential that you talk to your teenager about how they are feeling, and keep checking in. If you cannot get answers from your child, are having trouble communicating, or have a strong feeling about something not being right, you should seek professional help. Below are some of the most common symptoms your teen is likely to show if they are depressed:
- Getting in trouble in school
- Isolating themselves from people
- Lack of interest in their favorite activities
- Eating more than usual or lack of appetite
- Sleeping more than usual or not sleeping at all
- Feeling emptiness or sadness for no obvious reason
- Lack of energy and motivation
- Increasingly angry or aggravated
- Feelings of guilt or hopelessness
- Inability to concentrate
- Trouble making decisions
- Forgetting things
- Defensiveness or being overly sensitive
- Using drugs or alcohol
- Talking about death or suicide
Does your teenager have any of these symptoms, or maybe similar ones? They may just be truly going through some changes or issues at school, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Rather than take the chance of things worsening, get your child to talk to someone—even a depression chat room might be a good start. Scheduling time to meet with a professional in person can be difficult for adolescents and their parents. Online therapy can make it easier for them to open up and communicate, and there’s no appointment needed.
If your teen might be struggling with depression, a therapist can be just a click, phone call, or text away.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and we have been compensated through BetterHelp.com.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.