Teenagers who are depressed often experience physical or emotional pains; they usually will not want other people or their parents to help them get better. Still, they also don’t know how to help themselves. So parents are normally in the best position to try to seek help for their depressed teenagers.
Signs And Symptoms Of A Depressed Teenager
Depression affects its victims badly, messes them up, take total control of their lives; there are some signs and symptoms that a teenager will portray which will indicate that they are depressed, and it is important to recognize the signs and fast .some of those signs are;
- Poor academic performance
- Quick temper
- Tiredness/ Fatigue
- Low self-esteem
- Loss of sleep
- Sudden Loss of appetite
- Always looking pale
Depression in teenagers is ubiquitous; scientific research has shown that between the age of 3 to 17, about 1.9 million teenagers are depressed. Unfortunately, depression in teenagers is hard to detect; some signs are associated with puberty and will be discarded as normal mood swings.
And those signs are often overlooked and ignored until the teenager has a severe case of depression, shows odd behaviors, or tries to take their own life.
Causes Of Depression In Teenagers
Depression in teenagers is caused by many various factors that may occur in teenagers day to day life; some of the factors include school bullying, Biochemical imbalances, physical stress, mental stress, genetics, trauma, mental abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, rejection by parents or other people, domestic violence, unstable home, hurt from past incidents, lack of support and love from family members.
Some teenagers can’t seem to handle the stress of now being a young adult, the body changes, the insecurities, the comparison, the new responsibilities of becoming a semi-adult, all these factors can lead to mood swings, tiredness, depression, and anxiety in teenagers who parents are not supporting, and left to deal with all these new and unfamiliar changes.
Because mood swings are prevalent amongst teenagers, depression will be hard to detect when it starts just because they share the same signs and symptoms. Parents should learn to be attentive to their teenager’s characters for any behavior change and apeak with them frequently to know immediately if anything is wrong.
It is difficult to identify depression in teenagers because it isn’t obvious in all aspects of their lives. They might come in episodes, for example, coming and going at different times, and some teenagers are good at hiding it.
But depression is more serious than you think, some parents regard it as a phase, and depression in teens is not just a phrase; it will be an absolute mistake to sit and wait for your teenager to grow out of it on their own because they can’t handle it all on their own.
When a teenager has depression, and nothing is done about it as soon as possible, some teenagers will find any means possible to help them feel better, leading to substance use, drug abuse, consuming too much alcohol, behavioral disorders, mental imbalance.
Depressed teenagers need to be examined to ensure it is now a result of an illness or chronic health issues, mental conditions, or genetic problems. A sudden change in your teenager’s behavior that lasts for a long time may suggest a more serious problem that might need to be addressed by a doctor.
On the other hand, ignorance of any sort and leading to the continuation of these behaviors in your teenager can become worse and finally lead to suicide.
How To Help A Teenager With Anxiety And Depression
Some tests will need to be done, e.g., a blood test to check family history for and hereditary mental disease, checking for any trace of harmful medication in their blood, type of food consumed to know if physical factors cause the depression.
Physiological and psychological tests by a physiatrist or a psychologist determine the severity of the teenager’s mental or emotional depression, the causes, and ways to help.
A therapist expert in treating depressed teens can conclude the signs and symptoms after communicating with the teenager and their family members for information to help with recommendations on ways to help your teenager.
Talking to a doctor and following the instructions given will help your teenager get better and or at least not worsen the severity of their depression and help them help their selves, so their academic life and social life would not continue to suffer because they are the most affected aspect of your teenager’s life during the depression.
Also, try all the possible ways to make them happy, cook them their favorite meal, take them out, go on vacation, engage them, show them love and care for him or them; this affection might help them get better.
Most teenagers that are victims of depression do not like to seek help or get help either, they might even get angry and refuse help, but it is important to seek help for your teenager to avoid the end product of depression …. Suicide.
When depressed, teenagers will not want to be around people; they will withdraw from family and friends, making them further sad, isolated, and lonely. So do not let them be alone; engage them in funny conversations, support them, flatter them, be nice, be caring, and be affectionate.
Having even one supportive friend will help them and will be of huge benefit. It will encourage them to reconnect with lost relationships and form new ones and share their feelings and thoughts; Depression is one of the hardest things one can go through.
Treatment For Depression In Teenagers
Depression is treatable either through medications or psychotherapy, or combined. Your doctor will decide which is best effective for your teenager’s good health. Teenagers who have been proven to be suicidal will need 24hours monitoring and should be hospitalized.
Antidepressant pills are effective for teenagers with depression. However, when administering antidepressants, the teenager should be monitored closely by parents and doctors to prevent overdose and any bad effects, especially during the first few weeks of administration.
Two famous psychotherapy methods used to treat depression in teenagers are Interpersonal therapy(IPT) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). IPT is based on communication issues and social relationships that can aid in feeling depressed.
It will assist teenagers in communicating more and make their relationships stronger. While CBT addresses the relations concerning behaviors, feelings, and thoughts, it helps eliminate negative thoughts when identified and replace them with positive thoughts.
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