Is Your Teen Suffering from Depression? 28 Early Warning Signs for Parents

The growing and changing nature of adolescence is filled with all kinds of conflicting emotions and thoughts.

As a result, many teenagers struggle with the excessive presence of negative feelings, including disappointment, low self-esteem, unhappiness, dissatisfaction, and more.

Even though this period is a turbulent one and it’s considered normal to struggle with mood swings and negative feelings from time to time, many teens may be more affected than they realize.

This is why it is our responsibility as parents to offer love, support and guidance, so that our teens can move in the right direction.

Teen depression is a mental health issue which is characterized by an ongoing feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It influences thinking, feelings, and behavior and it may trigger physical, emotional, and functional complications.

Though it may appear at any period in life, the risk in teenagers is considered to be higher. This is why parents need to pay more attention to their children’s mental health and never sweep things under the carpet.

Accepting that there is a problem is the first step towards improvement. Remember, your teen can get professional help and feel better. Mental health problems are real so it is time we start treating them like that.

In this report, we will shed some light on a very dark issue, explore 5 majors contributing factors behind the rise in teen depression and share 28 early warning signs to look for, plus identify some possible treatment options.

How Does It Feel to be a Depressed Teen?

A teenager who is depressed is not temporarily sad or disappointed, but he/she is constantly feeling down and hopeless and unable to function normally in school, at home, and around family and friends.

He/she may feel as if this depressive mood will never go away and the situation is hopeless; however, there are therapies and treatments that will help your son/daughter think more positive thoughts, regain their energy, and feel hopeful again.

What Is Causing My Teen to Feel Depressed?

For a lot of parents, it may seem unimaginable for their teen to be depressed; however, their vulnerability and the many things that take place in adolescence, predisposes them to this condition.

As parents, we need to realize that depression does not necessarily need a reason to start and there is no 100 percent protection from it. The key is to learn more information about it and address it in its early stages.

Depression among the teenage population is steadily growing: a 2016 study published in the Pediatrics Journal showed that depression rates among children between 12 and 17 years of age increased 2.6 percent from 2005 to 2014. The rates among young adults also increased, but at a slower rate.

As Karen Young from Hey Sigmund points out, the immense body, brain, and hormonal changes, changes in friendships, physical intimacy, sexual feelings, romantic relationships, independence, and experimentation can all potentially pave the way for depression to enter into your child’s life.

This is because not all of these experiences may necessarily be positive. Unfortunately, by being more vulnerable and less equipped with coping mechanisms, the negative feelings and mood may take over.

Before we present how to better recognize potential depression in your daughter/son, let’s learn more about some of the contributing factors to your teen’s higher vulnerability:

5 Contributing Factors Behind Teen Depression

1. Increased sensitivity to what others think about them (or what they think others think) because of the higher capacity to see themselves through the eyes of others compared to when they were children

2. Greater pressure than they are able to handle – experimentation and risk-taking can be beneficial to their development, but in the wrong areas, can be dangerous