It’s a pretty natural thing when your teen slouches about with a grim expression on their face. Unfortunately, on the other hand, it could be a developing depressive state. Teen depression can grow into a grave degeneration of mental health, leading to an unceasing feeling of downheartedness and loss of enthusiasm for anything. Depression brings on a different set of feelings, thoughts, and perceptions. It wreaks havoc on their emotional state and even overall physical health. Depression can set in at any time, but with teenagers, symptoms and manifestations will differ from those of an adult.
Teenagers go through a rather difficult phase – what with their bodies changing, having to live up to academic expectations, and experiencing pressure from their peers. Yet while some just feel low, others begin to lower themselves into depression.
Depression in teens is a far cry from just a weak period that can be suppressed by exercising willpower. It can become chronic, and require medication and treatment. With teenagers, timely and well-applied treatment can do a lot of good in alleviating symptoms considerably.
How to tell if the teen is depressed?
Depression affecting our youngsters produces much worse effects than can be assumed. It can undermine personality with incessant inflows of melancholy, despair, and more aggressive states.
Besides, depression can propel teens to outbreaks of rebellion and other unseemly actions. When they feel an onset of depression, trying to manage their emotional turmoil, they can display different behaviors, for instance:
Chronic negative emotional condition. Teens often burst into tears when they regard their situation as hopeless (with or without good reason). These outbursts can be caused by depression. But they do not necessarily have to be sad – they may exhibit annoyance, excessive agitation, or even fury.
School difficulties. When depressed, teens are very low on energy and cannot study well. Also, they find themselves unable to concentrate. Their grades go down, they begin to skip classes; even good students get dissatisfied with their school lives.
Suicidal tendencies. Since they find it beyond their abilities to shake off melancholy and negative feelings, they can feel pressed into self-harm or worse. They struggle under persistent ideas of the kind “I can’t go on with this terrible life.”
Enthusiasm, interest and excitement die down. No activities cause a positive response. When your kids get home from school, they no longer get busy with their favorite activities. Their hobbies become laid aside. They can not want to go do sports anymore. They refuse to discuss their condition.
They want to run from home. In a fit of depression, such ideas often enter children’s heads. They talk about it with their pals and they can be easily provoked into attempting it. This is the way they show they need help.
Substance abuse. Children may resort to alcohol and/or drugs, hoping they will make them shake off their depressive thoughts.
Self-esteem takes a quick drop. When depression arrives, it brings along feelings of inferiority to others and worthlessness, which are difficult to disperse. They interfere adversely with the routine run of life.
Blaming and criticizing themselves. Individuals who struggle with depressive thoughts begin to believe they are to blame for what is happening. Such feelings go to aggravate the overall condition and sufferers think they won’t ever become normal again. Self-blame can make depressive people to become unduly apologetic that others won’t always understand.
Dependence on smartphones. These things provide an easy escape so teenagers will be happy to remain online without realizing that it may make them even more isolated therefore deteriorating their condition.
Becoming unsettled, flustered, agitated. A depressive teenager goes through a lot of discomfort and discontent. No wonder they grow fidgety and restless, gesturing too much and moving too much, which is evident when they should be paying attention.
Growing estranged socially. When depression is on you, you have to struggle to do a lot of things, and you can’t socialize with others properly. Depressive teens will tend to avoid all contact, even with their family and best friends. They distance themselves from those around them.
Memory plays tricks. It has been proven that depression is linked with the degradation of short memory. A heavy depressive state is characterized by a “foggy brain” that makes people lose logical connections and feel out of things.
Poorer concentration. Steeped in melancholy, teenagers find it hard to concentrate properly. Not only do their academic studies suffer, but even their day-to-day motions can also be affected, so they often feel at a loss about what to do.
The possible rejection or failure causes severe consternation. As a youngster gets more and more bent under depression, they begin to lose their self-image, and then it becomes easy to act to incur failure or a dismissive attitude. Then that failure or dismissal goes to exacerbate the general condition further still.
Foolhardy behavior. Depression can lead teens to behave perilously and hazardously – drink themselves blind, get involved in misadventures, and engage in unsafe sexual practices.
Low energy, exhaustion. Depressive feelings leave sufferers devoid of energy, they feel too exhausted to get busy with their affairs. Constant fatigue is a telling sign of possible depression and maybe more stringent things.
Sleep troubles. Sleep cycles are highly susceptible to depression. Any abnormality of sleep – be it sleeplessness or difficulty waking up from even a long sleep – can be a symptom of a depressive state.
Aggression, violent outbreaks. It especially relates to those who are subject to bullying – they can be driven to uncontrolled violence.
Dark reflections, worrying too much. Depression invites anxiety and foreboding; heavy thoughts go in circles. Negative images become very vivid and convincing, pushing to damaging actions and behaviors.
Clothing, appearance and personal hygiene get neglected. When in a cloud of black depression, people are apt to lose interest in how they look, whether they brushed or washed recently. They start to look different from how they used to.
Growing susceptibility to stressors. Depression makes patience and tolerance crumble down, so when something happens to cause annoyance, sufferers respond unnaturally rapidly and strongly.
Bleak outlook for future. Those bent under depressive thoughts cannot envisage a bright future for themselves. This condition makes people believe everything around is black and can only worsen. Nothing they can do can ever be successful. Only after effective treatment, such people can acquire a more realistic outlook of what they can achieve.
Eating habits undergo a change. Children suddenly lose their appetite or stuff themselves with food.
Drastic changes in weight. Since eating and physical activity are affected, teens can start to lose or gain weight all of a sudden.
Teens begin to complain of pains of mysterious origins. Psychologists say that painful thoughts can cause real physical pains. When your young ones keep telling you that they have aches in various parts of their bodies, it can be because they are depressive. This is usually one of the most typical symptoms by which teens draw attention to their sorry condition.
Tricky digestion. As specialists point out, individuals burdened by anxiety, nervousness, and depression are often troubled by intestinal irregularities. They may be the result of an abdomen inflammation often accompanying these issues.
How can depressed teenagers be aided
So you discovered that your kid is depressive – you are sure to require professional assistance. The earlier you will tackle the condition, the better. Having gained due counseling and started on treatment, you can gain control of the situation and hope for a future free of depressive clouding.