Depression In Teenagers: Symptoms and Signs of Teenage Depression
Depression is one problem too many as it does not restrict itself to any age group in particular. It affects both adults and younger people, as well as both males and females. Depression in teenagers is one of the major problems being faced in many of the societies of the world today. It can have very devastating effects on the lives of teenagers and youths as a whole. One very important fact worthy of note about youth depression (or more specifically teenage depression) is that it is very difficult to detect. This is due to the fact that mood swings are very common among people within this age group and so, such behavioral changes associated with depression are usually mistaken for normal circumstances. What are the causes of teenage and youth depression? How can we identify depressed teens? What are the consequences? All these questions are well-answered in this article.
Causes of depression in teenagers
- During the course or development from childhood to adulthood, many transitional changes occur within the body of teenagers. Most of these changes (puberty-realted) usually generate mental stress in teenagers. At this point in time, they are in a dire need of emotional support from parents and other family members. When this support is nowhere to be found, depression persists.
- Depression in teenagers may also be caused by certain peer influences. For example, when a boy from a poor home feels depressed over the fact that his parents cannot get him some of those things which he sees with his schoolmates who are from rich homes. He feels depressed as a result of inferiority complex.
- Abuse is another cause of depression in teenagers. Depression is very common in teenagers who have been physically or sexually abused at some time in the past.
- Also, teenagers get depressed due to unpleasant occurrences such as broken homes, death of relatives, death of close friends, neglect, long term illnesses and so on.
- Youths may also get depressed due to excessive concerns over their physical appearances. If for instance, a teenager dislikes something about his/her appearance such as height, he/she feels depressed as he keeps nursing the feeling that everybody also dislikes that part of him/her.
Symptoms and Signs of depression in teenagers
- Depressed teenagers find it very difficult to concentrate on any activity for long. Even if they embark on fun activities, they lose interest soon afterwards and find something else to do.
- Depressed teenagers either eat very little (due to lack of appetite) or too much than they eat ordinarily.
- Depressed teenagers become aggressive, hostile and get angered easily.
- Depressed teenagers may inflict injuries on themselves.
- They engage in abuse of alcohol or tobacco
- In severe depression, affected teenagers may contemplate suicide
One of the best approaches to handle teenage depression is to seek the advice from a counselor or a psychotherapist. These are professionals who have a very good understanding of how teenagers think and perceive changes in their environment.