It may come as a surprise to some, but children also suffer from depression. Depression can occur in younger children but more often develops in teens. A parent should be aware of possible indicators to identify the possibility of depression in teens early and seek professional help if necessary.
Sadness is a definite factor to watch in a teen that may be depressed. Depression in teens can show up as hopelessness and lack of ability to look forward to a brighter future. Many teens will experience ups and downs in their emotions. This is natural for almost everyone, especially during the teen years when much of the focus is on the opinion of their peers. However, if a teen begins to feel down and stays in the mind frame that his situation will never change; this may be cause for serious concern.
Repetitive anger is another indicator of possible depression in teens. A teen that is hurting emotionally, confused, afraid, or even feeling abandoned may show his frustration through displays of anger. Creating negative situations where there are none, a teen who is struggling with depression may feel hostility toward the outside world. Many teens are energetic and may show some adrenaline or aggression. However, if a child continues to be destructive in his anger, this may be a sign of depression.
Withdrawal and feelings of loneliness often accompany depression in teens. A child may withdraw from all activity and no longer enjoy the company of family and friends. If a child has always been a loner, this behavior may be natural and should not be considered out of the ordinary. However, if a healthy active child who has always enjoyed people and socializing no longer desires other’s company, this may be cause for concern. When a teen is unhappy he may turn inward and withdraw from those he loves.
Depression in teens does happen but only a professional can properly diagnosis depression. Other factors must always be considered before assuming depression is the issue. If there have been changes in the teens life at home, school, physically, emotionally, death or even birth of new children and the blending of families can naturally cause stress in teens due to a change in their life circumstances. The point to keep in mind is that a parent should look for a marked change in behavior without a known reason. There may indeed be a reason but the teen may keep it hidden and this too may require the assistance of a therapist or professional to help get to the core of an issue.
If a parent suspects depression in their teen, the parent should immediately seek help. The National parent’s hot line and local crisis centers are starting points for locating programs and professionals available to help parents and teens that require help dealing with depression.
- Youth Crisis Hotline 1-800-448-4663
- Teen Helpline 1-800-522-8336