Teenagers are moody, right? While moodiness, anger, and irritability are normal emotions for teenagers, there is a limit to how much they should be acting out. Depression in teens is real and brutal. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers. Most teens who commit suicide show signs of depression during the weeks and month leading up to the act. Counseling during this time can help. That's why it's so important that you learn to recognize when your teen is in distress. Following are four signs that your teen needs help.
Aches and Pains
Depression can cause aches and pains. If your teen constantly complains of body aches, headaches, or not feeling well, they may have depression. This is especially true if you have sought medical attention for the aches and pains, but doctors have not found anything wrong with your teen.
Irritability and Anger
Teens are irritable, but if the irritability seems overly severe, there may be a problem. Depressed teens are prone to angry outbursts. The also get frustrated easily and may appear grumpy or hostile most of the time. Depressed teens are also over-reactive to situations and people. If yours consistently bites your head off when you ask them a simple question, you may want to explore their mood a little further instead of chalking it up to typical teenage emotions.
Sensitivity and Self-Esteem
Depressed teens may appear to be overly sensitive to criticism. If yours complains of being worthless or seems to be scared of failing all the time, you may have a problem on your hands. Symptoms of low self-esteem, such as shyness, withdrawal, anxiety and discouragement, may indicate that your teen needs help as well.
Withdrawal and Social Changes
Depressed teens tend to withdraw from friends and family. However, they usually do not stop talking to everyone. If you notice that your teen isn't socializing as much anymore or if their group of friends has changed, talk to them about it. If they spend more time in their room or on their phone when they used to like to be around the family, they may be depressed.
While all teens display these behaviors some of the time, they shouldn't become the norm. If your teen seems to have bad days most of the time or if their moodiness lingers for a long period of time, they may need help. Also, if the above symptoms seem very severe, they may be depressed. Always seek help for a depressed teenager. Do not try to handle it alone.
For more information, contact Blue Spruce Counseling or a similar company.