- Posted by ROWI
- On August 16, 2018
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.
Remember that Teen Depression occurs in over 40% of girls and over 30% of boys. Depression in 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.
In the next part of our Series on Depression we will look at the role technology is playing in our teen’s lives. It will make you want to look closer at how much time your teen is on their phone. For more information contact ROWI Teen and Parent Therapy Center at (805) 356-3369 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.