depressed teen girl sitting on stairs and holding her head in her hands

Depression in Teens: What Are the Signs, and How Is It Treated?

As a parent, seeing your child struggle can be a difficult situation.

If you are worried that your child may be suffering from depression there are some signs you can look for that might give you some clues into how they are feeling.

While depression cannot be diagnosed without the help of a professional healthcare worker, you can see the warning signs and get early intervention if you just pay attention.

In several cases, depression can also be the result of MTHFR gene symptoms.

Once your child has been professionally diagnosed they will offer you the best options for treatment that will help your child address the issues they may be having.

depressed teen girl sitting on sidewalk and holding her head in her hands

Warning Signs of Depression

Warning signs can be incredibly clear or slightly vague, that is the problem with depression. You may struggle to understand whether your child is suffering from teenage depression, or simply going through developmental or hormonal phases.

You can keep your eyes open for some of these telltale signs, and if you feel your child is going through this, seek professional help.

These signs are not surefire ways of diagnosing depression, as many factors contribute to depression, however, they can be good warning signs that can open a conversation between you, your child and their physician if warranted.

Lethargy and Insomnia

If you have noticed your child is suffering from sleep routine disturbances, this can be one of the warning signs of depression. Depression can cause an inability to sleep due to anxiety, an overactive mental state or hormonal imbalances.

On the flip side, depression can cause extreme loss of energy and lethargy. If you find your child is going through major sleep changes you can have a conversation with them and your primary care physician to rule out depression or hormonal changes as the cause. 

Angry Outbursts

If you find your child is going through extremely angry outbursts then this can be a sign of multiple issues, from overstimulation to depression.

Paying attention to your child’s workload at school, and any issues they may be having with their peers (such as bullying) can help you to understand what is triggering these outbursts.

Teenagers are still learning to regulate their emotions, and are going through growth spurts and hormonal changes; all of these can affect their mental state and possibly lead to depressive episodes.

Isolation and Sadness

If your child is not getting angry but rather withdrawing into sadness and isolation this can also be a sign of depression or problems at school.

When struggling with intense emotions it can be difficult to know how to navigate social interactions, and therefore cause them to avoid their family and friends.

If your teenager has been more withdrawn than normal, you can consider this as a warning sign of depression.

Self Harm

While it is a difficult subject to broach, depression in teenagers can often be followed by self-harm, often utilized as a way for them to express their overwhelming feelings.

This is one of the most serious signs of depression, and if you are noticing this type of behavior it is important to deal with this right away, to avoid serious injury to your child.

Possible Treatments

Many treatments are offered for depression, from therapy to medications. The type of treatment that is offered will depend on the type and severity of depression your teenager is diagnosed with.

Treatments for depression should be recommended solely by your child’s doctor or mental health professional. 

If you truly feel your teenager is fighting with depression, and you have noticed these signs, an open and honest discourse with your child needs to commence.

Find out what type of stressors they are having, and openly and honestly discuss this.

Depression doesn’t need to be a taboo subject, from social pressures to academic pressures, teenagers are fighting to find themselves in a world that can often be unsympathetic to their emotional needs.

If you are truly worried about your child’s welfare, it is important to see a doctor or counselor to point you and your family in the right direction to overcome depression before it takes hold of your child.

It is important to remind your child that they are not alone in their difficult emotions, and as well as supporting your teenager, your whole family will be able to find the help they need by going to a healthcare professional.

Depression can take a big toll, but it doesn’t have to. Reaching out for help for your family and yourself is a sign of great strength and you will get through this difficult time.

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