It is not uncommon for teenagers to feel down in the dumps every now and then. The teen years are a time when they experience all types of changes from social to physical to emotional to psychological. In addition, teens have to deal with conflicting messages from parents, society and friends and deal with tough issues like drugs, alcohol and sex. However, when your teen’s mood affects how they function on a day to day basis, this may be a sign of depression that requires attention.
There are common symptoms of depression that you will notice in your teen, lasting 2 or more weeks. These signs include sudden anger outbursts, being more sensitive to criticism, being irritated often, physical complaints of headaches or stomachaches, feeling sad the majority of the time, losing interest in things they once enjoyed, withdrawing from friends and family and/or feeling tired all the time.
There are changes you should look for regarding their daily routine. Oftentimes, teens that are depressed will experience change in their daily habits. These signs include not sleeping enough or sleeping too much, eating more than usual or eating less than usual, difficulty with focus and concentration and having a tough time making decisions.
Other signs of teen depression will show up in their behavior. They may experience problems at home and at school. Some signs to watch out for include skipping class, not doing their homework or a sudden drop in grades, drinking or using drugs, spending time alone and engaging in risky behaviors like unsafe sex, shoplifting and reckless driving.
It is also important to look for signs of suicide as this can sometimes show up with those who have depression. These signs include suddenly giving away possessions that are important to them, saying goodbye to family and friends as if they are leaving on a trip and not planning on returning, writing about suicide or dying, talking about wanting to die or committing suicide and constantly wanting to be alone.
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