All teens suffer bouts of moodiness and sadness from time to time. It’s all part of the emotional rollercoaster leading to adulthood. But when feelings of sadness last for more than two weeks, there’s a possibility that a teen is struggling with depression.
These symptoms are not to be taken lightly. Any indications by your teen of suicide, alcohol/drug abuse, or self-mutilation are all red lights that should be addressed.
Here are some warning signs that a teen may be depressed and need professional help:
- Social isolation
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feelings of worthlessness or helplessness
- Lack of energy
- Apathy and sadness
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
- Changes in eating habits
The good news is that teen depression can be successfully treated with a combination of therapy and medication. It’s important to diagnose and treat the condition as soon as possible.
Parents can help by reinforcing their child’s accomplishments and positive qualities. Listening without judgment is also an important way parents can help their teen. Although kids may act as though they are not interested in talking with you or having a relationship, the opposite is true. This is a crucial time to encourage your child with affection and acceptance.