- Posted by ROWI
- On October 15, 2018
There are few things more painful for a parent than watching a child suffer. The Center for Disease Control reported in June of 2018 that 41% of high school girls and 33% of all high school students reported feeling sad and hopeless. UCLA has recently reported that the rate of teens experiencing at least one depressive episode has risen 60% between 2010 and 2016.
Navigating through the teen years has its challenges. Middle School and High School students face both academic and peer pressures all while dealing with surging hormones. But how do you know when a little teen angst has turned into a more series depression?
At ROWI Teen and Parent Wellness Center, we suggest you take note when your teen’s symptoms are more consistent. They have no energy, their grades are dropping, they’re threatening or attempting to run away or kill themselves, expressing low self-esteem, turning to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate and withdrawing into technology.
Depression is no longer a rare occurrence. Depressive symptoms can exhibit in three main categories.
1) MOOD SYMPTOMS
- sad, irritable, depressed
- hostile, frustrated, restless
- loss of interest in usual activities
- inability to experience pleasure
- tearfulness or frequent crying
- feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- thoughts of death or suicide
2) COGNITIVE SYMPTOMS
- inability to concentrate
- difficulty making decisions
- poor school performance
3) PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS
- lack of energy
- feeling restless or slow
- aches & pains (stomach ache, headache)
- changes in sleep, appetite, or activity levels
Teens are less likely to speak up and say they need help. Teen depression can also look slightly different than with adults. Teens may appear more irritable than sad. If you find your teen is increasingly grumpy, hostile, frustrated and prone to angry outbursts these can all be signs of depression.
They may also have unexplained aches and pains. If upon a physical exam there isn’t a medical reason, having headaches and stomach aches could indicate depression.
They may be extra sensitive to what feels like criticism and might withdraw from some people, but not all. Adults who are depressed tend to withdraw completely, but teens may stay social with some or a new group of friends.
If you’re feeling concerned about your teen here are some things to consider:
- How long have the symptoms been around?
- How severe are they?\How different is your teen from his or her normal self?
- Has this period of sadness, lethargy, irritability felt unrelenting?
Remember, your kids will not just snap out of it. Nor will depression go away over time. You need to act. Keep the communication open with your teen and focus on hearing them rather than lecturing.
ROWI is here with trained professionals to help your teen get back to themselves and find joy again. We are also here as a support for parents to help you navigate the best ways to help your teen through their depression.
For more information contact ROWI Teen and Parent Therapy Center at (805) 356-3369 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We serve the Thousand Oaks and Calabasas, California areas and accept most health insurance plans.
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