Adolescent depression is a serious mental health problem that causes persistent sadness and loss of interest in activities.
It affects the way a child thinks, feels, and behaves, and can cause emotional, functional, and physical problems. Although depression can strike at any time in life, symptoms can be different in teens and adults.
Signs and symptoms of teen depression include changes in attitudes and behaviors in early adolescence, which can lead to significant stress and problems at school or at home, in social activities, or in other areas of life.
Following changes can be early signs of depression.
- Feeling irritable or angry.
- Loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities.
- Loss of interest in or conflict with family and friends self-abasement.
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
- Clinging to past mistakes or excessive self-blame or self-criticism.
- Extremely sensitive to rejections or errors, requiring over-validation.
- Difficulty in thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things.
- Frequent sucidal thoughts
Watch for alterations in behavior, such as:
- Tiredness and a loss of energy.
- Sleep deprivation or too much sleep.
- Changes in eating preferences- decreased consumption and loss of weight, or increased desire to eat and gain weight.
- The use of alcohol or other drugs.
- Agitation or unrest — for example, pacing, hand-wringing or a lack of ability to sit still.
- Relying on others, having slowed thoughts or motions, or speaking at all.
- Frequent complaints of inexplicable bodyaches and headaches, these complaints are often followed by visits to the nurse’s office.
- Social isolation.
- Poor academic performance or frequent absence from class.
- Less focus on personal grooming or presentation.
- Violent outbreaks, harmful or dangerous behavior, or other conduct that is out of proportion.
- Self-injury, such as cutting or burning.
- Creating or attempting a suicide plan.
What is typical and what is not.
It can be hard to differentiate between up and downs that are simply part of the teenage years and depression, respectively. Discussions with your teen. Attempt to deduce whether or not he or she seems capable of dealing with difficult emotions, or if life seems to have a lot of meaning.
If a loved one or friend is in the vicinity of attempting suicide or has already attempted suicide:
Ensure that someone is present that will remain with that individual.
Call the emergency number of your region immediately.
Alternatively, if you can safely do this, you can take the person to the nearest emergency room in the hospital.
Never disregarded or failed to address concerns about suicide. Never hesitate to take action in order to receive help.