Depression in teenagers is a big problem that will affect all aspects of a teenager’s life. If not treated, it could affect problems not only at home and at school, but it could also lead to other issues such as drug abuse, self-hatred, and even suicide. Parents, guardians, teachers, friends, and loved ones could start to learn about depression and what it looks like in teenagers.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression IN TEENS

* Sadness or hopelessness
* Restlessness and agitation
* Lack of motivation
* Fatigue or lack of energy
* Feelings of worthlessness & guilt
* Difficulty concentrating
* Irritability, anger, or hostility
* Tearfulness or frequent crying
* Withdrawal from friends and family
* Loss of interest in activities
* Changes in eating and sleeping habits
* Thoughts of death or suicide

Teenagers Experience Depression Differently from Adults

* Irritability, rather than sadness,is often the mood shown in depressed teens.
* Depressed teens frequently complain about physical symptoms such as
headaches or stomachaches. It would be a good idea to get a physical exam to
rule out any medical causes.
* Depressed adults tend to isolate, while depressed teens may try to maintain
some friendships. It may manifest by teens socializing less, hanging out with
another crowd, or by pulling away from their parents/family.

Effects of teen depression

* Problems at school: such as difficulty concentrating (which could lead to
grades dropping), truancy, low energy, and isolation.
* Low Self Esteem: such as feelings of failure, guilt, shame, ugliness,
* Eating Disorders: such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, being on and off
* Substance Abuse: such as using drugs or alcohol to cope with their
* Addictions: such as internet addition, gambling, or sex to escape from their
* Run away: teens might run away to escape their problems. This is a big red
* Violence: such as bullying others or hurting others
* Self-injury: such as cutting, burning, head banging
* Suicide: severe depression could lead a teen to think about killing
themselves or making attempts to killing themselves.

Suicide warning signs in teenagers

* Risk taking behaviors such as reckless driving
* Becoming suddenly cheerful after a period of depression
* Saying things like, “I’d be better off dead” or “I wish I could die.”
* Looking for a means to kill themselves, such as weapons or pills
* Writing stories, notes, or poems about death, dying, or suicide.
* Giving away favorite belongings or promising items to friends/family
* Saying goodbye to friends and family as if for good.

24-hour suicide prevention and support: 1-800-273-TALK.

Author's Bio: 

I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I received my Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Women's Studies from UC Santa Barbara. I have a wide range of experience with a variety of populations and cultures, spanning from children involved with the Department of Children and Family Services, court-mandated teens, high-risk families and trauma victims. I have a lot of experience working with trauma (sexual, physical, neglect, and emotional), grief & loss, depression, anxiety, low self esteem, relationship issues, and multi-cultural issues. I have been trained in a variety of techniques, interventions, and modules, including Trauma Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. I make an effort to approach each client in a manner suited to his or her unique needs.

I am also a member of The California Associate of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) and Armenian American Mental Health Association (AAMHA).

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