10 Signs of Teen Depression

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Is your teen depressed? Do you feel like your teenager is suffering from depression and you don’t know how to help?

Depression in teenagers can show up in a variety of ways, and it’s important to know the signs. Of course, individual experiences can vary and here are some common signs of teenage depression:

1. Persistent Sadness or Irritability: Teens with depression might have a prolonged and unexplained sense of sadness, hopelessness, or irritability. Irritability is when they are quick to anger or get annoyed easily. Your teen might also seem down all the time and/or have frequent mood swings.

2. Loss of Interest: A noticeable loss of interest in activities and their friends can be a sign of depression. Your teenager may have enjoyed hanging out with their friends but no longer wants to do so. Your teen may have loved to play sports but now doesn’t want to. Teens may isolate themselves from friends and family, preferring to spend more time alone and avoiding social interactions. Overall, you noticed that your teen is wanting to do less of the things they used to enjoy.

3. Changes in Sleep Patterns: Depressed teenagers might experience big changes in their sleep patterns. This could involve insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, excessive sleeping, or irregular sleep routines.

4. Changes in Appetite: Depression can lead to changes in appetite, resulting in either significant weight loss or weight gain. They might lose interest in food or use food as a way to cope.

5. Fatigue and Lack of Energy: Teens with depression may often feel tired and lack the energy to engage in daily activities, even ones they used to enjoy.

6. Difficulty Concentrating: Depressed teenagers might struggle with concentration, memory, and decision-making. Their grades academic performance may go down.

7. Feelings of Worthlessness or Guilt: Teens with depression may experience lots feelings with worthlessness, guilt, or self-criticism. They might blame themselves for problems or failures, even when it’s not their fault.

8. Physical Complaints: Sometimes, depression can manifest as physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, and other unexplained aches and pains.

9. Reckless Behavior: Engaging in risky behaviors, such as substance abuse, reckless driving, or unprotected sex, can sometimes be linked to underlying depression.

10. Thoughts of Death or Suicide: Expressing thoughts of death, dying, or suicide is a serious sign of depression and requires immediate attention. Any indication of self-harm should be taken seriously.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth in North Carolina ages 10 to 18, and the third leading cause of death for those ages 19 to 34.

If you suspect that your teenager is experiencing depression, it’s important to approach the situation with empathy and openness. Encourage them to talk about their feelings and experiences. If you’re a parent, guardian, teacher, or another trusted adult, consider seeking professional help, such as a mental health professional or a counselor who specializes in working with teenagers. Depression is treatable, and early intervention is crucial for the well-being of the teenager. If the teenager is in immediate danger or talks about self-harm or suicide, it’s essential to seek emergency assistance or contact a crisis hotline immediately. The National Suicide hotline can be reached by dialing 988.

References: https://injuryfreenc.dph.ncdhhs.gov/DataSurveillance/SuicideData.htm

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