Of course, the tendency of teenagers to have mood swings and to be independent is quite normal. As well as hormonal issues, there is a lot of change, anxiety and pressure at this life stage, so it stands to reason that there will be mood swings.
However this tendency can make it harder to spot signs of more serious issues, such as depression, in this age group.
How can I spot the signs?
When it comes to depression, the key is to consider the length and severity of the symptoms. Long lasting, uncharacteristic changes in personality, behaviour or mood are good indicators that something is not right.
Teenagers who are depressed may become irritable, hostile and prone to angry outbursts. They may not take criticism very well and be particularly sensitive to being rejected or to failing. You may notice some changes in friendships, although many teenagers with depression manage to maintain their friendships. Depressed teenagers will often distance themselves from their parents or start hanging out with a new crowd. They may also complain about physical ailments that seem to have no cause.
Spotting the signs of depression in teenagers is vital to getting them the help they need at this stressful life stage.
Here are 10 signs that your teenager may be suffering from depression
- Sadness or hopelessness
- Restlessness and agitation
- Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
- Tearfulness or frequent crying
- Loss of interest/pleasure in activities
- Changes in eating and sleeping habits
- Lack of enthusiasm and motivation
- Fatigue/lack of energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Thoughts of death/suicide
If you need help and want to know more about depression and what you can do about it, please read our information sheet for further details >