The teenage years are emotional mine fields. Sometimes you may feel that your teenager is always depressed because that seems to be the mood they project a great deal of the time.
They don’t want to be with the family, prefer to be closed up in their rooms, perhaps listening to dark music and preferring to wear clothes as dark as their mood. An adolescent suffering from depression can be hostile to you, exceedingly grumpy or easily lose their temper at the drop of a hat.
You may be wondering what the difference is between this behavior, which seems like their normal attitude lately, and a full blown depression. The truth of the matter is that it’s sometimes difficult to tell just where their teenage angst ends and depression begins.
A teenager suffering from depression may show signs of hopelessness, cry often, be tearful, or may begin to write dark poetry and become interested in dark themed music and movies. They may begin to feel that life is not worth living, to the point that they neglect their personal hygiene because it’s simply not worth their effort. A depressed adolescent can feel as though this dark cloud over them will never leave and therefore their future is bleak. Boredom and the loss of any enjoyment from previously engaging activities is another sign of depression
Low self-esteem is common in a teen suffering from depression. Their sense of self-worth, which is always difficult to maintain during the teenage years anyway, takes a huge hit when depression creeps into the life of a teenager. They feel worthless and that they’re simply not good enough. Feelings of guilt can overwhelm them when things go wrong, as though every bad thing that happens is their fault.
Teenagers are already susceptible to feelings of inadequacies but when a perceived rejection occurs to a depressed teen whose sensitivities are already heightened, it can result in a devastating emotional meltdown and downward spiral.
Bouts of irritability, lashing out at those around them and isolating themselves from friends or family can also be signs of depression. Sometimes a depressed teenager will ‘reject’ his or her family because they feel they need to reject their family members before their family rejects them.
If your teenager was doing well in school and is now missing school more often than not, grades are slipping and he or she becomes hostile when approached about the situation, it could also be a sign of depression. There are so many traits in depression that can mimic normal teenage phases that it can be difficult for parents and leaders to ascertain with any degree of certainty whether or not a teenager is suffering from a major depressive episode.
Because depression can run in families, a teenager who is suffering from depression probably has one or two parents at home who are also struggling with this mental health issue. If you feel your teenager, or a teenager you care about, is in danger, please contact their parents, their school counselor or religious leader so that they can receive the help they need.
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Content: PLR, Image: Pixabay