How to Identify Depression in Teenaagers

Depression is a psychiatric disorder that can be cured if identified and treated early. Increasing numbers of patients are identified to have depression. Depression can occur at any age. Teenagers can get depressed easily, because they undergo a lot of physical, mental and social changes at this age. Their mental health can be affected by many environmental factors. Severe depression is the cause for most of the suicides that occur each year. Therefore, it is a disease that should be identified and cured before it becomes severe. Depression can interfere with the teenager’s education. Therefore, it can affect their future. Having healthy generation of teenagers is essential for a better and secure future. Therefore, people should know the signs of depression, so it can be identified and treated early.

Parents and teachers are the people who come in to contact with teenagers every day. If you have a teenager, knowing the signs of depression can help you to identify the disease early, so you can help your teenager to get out of depression. There are several characteristic features of depression. Presence of several of these characteristic features may indicate that your teen is depressed. Following are the characteristic features that can manifest in a teen if they have got depression.

 Sadness and Low Mood

A depressed teen will look sad almost all the time. They will rarely smile or interact with others. Some children usually do not interact with others usually. Therefore, everybody with less interactions are not having depression, but if your teen who have been very active and interactive in the past has suddenly become preoccupied and silent, he might have developed depression.

 Loss of interest in Pleasure

Teenagers have their own specific interests. For example, some love sports. Some enjoy engaging in arts. Some just love to hang with their peers. If your teen shows sudden loss of interest in activities he previously loved to do, it might be a symptom of depression. To detect these things you should have a clear idea about the things that you teen like. This can be achieved by having a good relationship with the child. Good communication skills become more important in such situations.

Fatigue or Low Energy

Fatigue or low energy is also symptoms of depression. If your teen appears to come home early it might because he or she is feeling lack of energy. The teen might go to bed early and show reluctance to get up. Sometimes, you may find your teen is staying awake even though they have gone to bed early. They will also cut school and classes giving their bad health as an excuse.

Disturbed Sleep

Sleep disturbance is a well known feature of depression. Depressed people find it very hard to go to sleep because they keep on thinking about disturbing things in their life. With time, lack of sleep can become another reason for the depression to become severe. Lack of sleep causes body weakness and lack of energy.

Poor Concentration

Poor concentration is the next feature of depression. You might not detect this sign early unless you engage with work with the teen. Progressive reduction in marks and school performance is a good indicator of poor concentration, but it might be very late when you notice bad marks. Therefore, it is important to keep good contact with the teachers to identify poor concentration early. Sometimes, you might see your teen is easily distracted when doing any house hold work.

Low Self-confidence

Teenagers usually have a high level of self esteem. They think that they can do anything in this world. Even though they can show some fear in engaging in certain activities, they always have something that they are very confident about. For some teenagers, it can be sports or leadership. For some it can be school work. All you have to do is to identify the area that your teen is very confident in. If the teen looses confidence in engaging in that field, it might indicate that he or she is depressed.

Change in Appetite

Loss of appetite and increased appetite are features of depression. The teen might start to refuse foods. He or she might lose weight and become emaciated. Increased appetite may also indicate depression. In such situations, the teen will start to eat continuously.

Suicidal thoughts or Acts

Suicide is the most dangerous outcome of depression. Most of the people with suicidal ideas often express their ideas to the others at some point. People usually tend to ignore such statements, because they think that people who actually commit suicide don’t express their feelings. This is wrong. If your teen has ever expressed any suicidal idea, it indicates that he or she has developed severe depression. Therefore, you should always take such statements seriously and take your teen to a psychiatrist.

Guilt or Self-blame

Guilt and self blame is also a feature of depression. If anything goes wrong in the family, the teen might start blaming himself for that. He will always find a reason to blame himself for bad things that happen to him or the others. Then he will keep on thinking about it. This indicates depression.

Presence of only one of above mentioned features is not enough to confirm depression in a teenager. There should be several symptoms for a longer period of time. Therefore, if you find any of above symptoms in your teenager, you should pay more attention to his behavior and find out what is wrong. If you suspect depression in your teenager, it is better to take him to a psychiatrist.