Teen depression goes beyond the occasional bad mood and acting out. Your teen is going through some rough couple of years trying to find out who he is and where he fits, along with coping with puberty. This can lead to depression. Estimates show that one in every five adolescents will suffer from depression at some point during their teen years.
Here is a list of certain rebellious and unhealthy behaviors or attitudes that are significant warning signs of depression.
Internet and Smartphone addiction
It is perfectly okay for your teen to be hooked up to the computer or phone on a regular basis. A depressed teen will spend all her time online without making any direct human contact.
This makes them isolated and more depressed.
Problems at school
When a formerly excellent student suddenly loses interest in schoolwork, skips classes and consequently drops in performance, it could be a sign of depression.
The lack of energy causes them to lose focus and have difficulties concentrating.
It is natural for a teenager to have some feelings of shame, ugliness or unworthiness as they continue to realize their individual merit as a person.
Depression can alleviate these feelings and lead to a serious case of low self-esteem.
A teen is constantly exploring, discovering and at times testing the boundaries set for them by parents and other guardians.
This may begin with breaking the curfew or more defiantly, running away from home. Such attempts are a cry for help.
Reckless behavior includes any risky or hurtful activity. Binge drinking, unsafe sex or reckless driving are some examples.
When this develops into a pattern, it is most likely your teen is depressed.
Drug and alcohol abuse
A typical teen will try experimenting with alcohol or drugs. Nevertheless, a depressed teen will use the drugs or alcohol to “self-medicate” and as a means of temporarily relieving her feelings of sadness or anger.
This, unfortunately, makes the situation worse.
Most often, depressed teen boys will act aggressively towards anyone especially if they are a victim of bullying.
Very common among depressed teen girls where she may start binge eating or stop eating altogether.
A depressed teen finds self-injury soothing. Most teens who deliberately hurt themselves will hide the injuries so no one sees.
Unlike self-harm, suicidal teens want to end their lives. Seriously depressed teens often think, speak or joke about, or make attempts at suicide. It is vital to take note of this sign and get your teen the help they need.
Some other symptoms indicating that your teen might be depressed:
- Sadness or hopelessness
- Irritability, anger, hostility
- Frequent crying
- Restlessness and agitation
- Unexplained aches and pains
Depression is a serious health problem affecting every aspect of your teen’s life. Unlike adults who are able to seek help on their own, your teen relies on your intuitiveness. It is up to you to recognize their suffering and get them the help they need. Loving, guiding and supporting your teen through this period will help treat depression and get their lives back on track.