Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Truth About Teen Depression

With all of the suicides in recent years, teen depression has gotten a lot of press. This is a good thing because it helps alert us all to how serious this problem can be for them. Not all cases of teen depression end in suicide, but the increase in the rate is alarming.

Many parents these days work outside of the home. This means that the amount of time that they actually get to spend with their child is often limited.

Between the demands placed on families and the unwillingness of many teens to share with their parents, it becomes more important for everyone to be involved. This means that no matter how you are involved with teens, recognizing the signs of depression and reacting to them quickly can mean the difference between life and death for them.

Depression can be anything from a simple episode where they are upset briefly because of a break up, a missed opportunity, or a failure in some area of their life. It can also be a constant, heavy cloud that they can not get out from under. This heavy cloud can and does destroy lives.

There are many things that parents, counselors, teachers and even friends can do to keep them out of this deep, dark depression. Teen depression is serious and should be handled carefully.

Knowing and watching for the tell-tale signs can help you to determine when a simple case of depression is not so simple and needs some intervention.

  • Pulling away from friends and activities that they are involved with.

  • Loss of appetite, or weight loss.

  • Restless sleep. Waking up still tired is a sure sign of this.

  • Pulling away from social situations is a key sign of teen depression. Any teen that is not interested in socializing should be a signal that something is not quite right.

  • Consistently down in the dumps. Occasionally being down is normal, but if you notice a pattern of the blues that lasts, it may be time to get help.

  • Isolation. A teen or even a young adult that stays locked away in their room.

  • Consistently quitting activities may be an indication that they do not feel worthy of being included with others.

Although teen depression does not always lead to suicide, it can lead to other serious problems. Teens that are depressed may be more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol to help ease their pain. These same teens are also less likely to do well in school.

Teens often times withdraw from the company of their parents in favor of other teens, it is difficult sometimes to get them to talk. They may even appear to be sullen and moody normally. They can retreat so far into themselves that they may become ill or harm themselves in some way.

One of the things to remember about teen depression is they are able to hide it very well. It is normal for teens to have bouts of depression, but these should be short-lived. It is when their depression becomes more serious that they hide it from those around them.

You may not even realize that they are in trouble until it is too late. Partnering with your teens friends and the other adults in their lives, then acting on any suspicions is the surest way to help keep your teen safe from serious depression.

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