Clinical signs of depression in teenage girls can be hard to recognize and decipher based on normal expressions and actions most teenage girls exhibit from day to day. But, with teenage suicide in girls on the rise, parents must remain alert and never take anything for granted. Teenage depression is real and can be serious.
As hard as teenage depression is to recognize, it's harder still for the teen to cope with. The majority of teenage girls who experience severe depression and don't receive help often have a much higher chance of falling in with the wrong crowd, failing in school, getting involved in drugs, becoming promiscuous and attempting suicide.
Additionally, teenagers who experience depression and don't receive help may retain some portion of the illness for the remainder of their lives. Recognizing the clinical signs of depression in teenage girls and obtaining medical help for those who exhibit these signs should be the focus of every parent of every teenage girl.
Clinical Signs Of Depression In Teenage Girls
The clinical signs of depression in teenage girls often border on everyday emotions, but, if the following signs persist for more than a week, you and your daughter should visit a doctor:
Social Awkwardness And Isolation: When a teenage girl finds herself unable to blend into social engagements without feelings of inferiority, she becomes vulnerable to depression. Peer pressure and the fear of rejection are extremely difficult on teenagers. Teens who are socially awkward tend to avoid social situations. Her loss of interest might indicate that she feels like an outcast or thinks she is unworthy of love.
Sadness, Death And Thoughts Of Suicide: Teen girls seem to have a hard time dealing with sadness and issues pertaining to death. A death in the family can cause a teen girl to slip into depression as quickly as can the death of a pet or the loss of a friendship or breaking up with a boyfriend. If your child seems sad or withdrawn or has suicidal thoughts, pay attention and seek medical help.
Low Self-Esteem: Often when teenage girls become depressed, they are accepted into groups that also seem to be dysfunctional on some level or are involved in drugs and promiscuous behavior. When this happens, she may feel this type of group is the only kind of love she is capable of receiving or worthy of receiving.
Anxiety, Anger, Irritability And Despair: These are classic signs of depression. Documenting your child's mood swings can be as time-consuming as it can be monotonous, but, if your child won't open up to you, this may be the only way to understand what might be going on inside your child's head. If your child throws tantrums, becomes hostile and/or cannot seem to control her emotions, you may be looking at the first indications of depression.
Poor Performance And Poor Concentration: School grades can decline as concentration and focus becomes scattered.
Disrupted Sleep Patterns, Ill Health And Loss of Energy: Whenever sleep patterns are disrupted, signs of fatigue generally follow. Complaints of headaches, stomachaches and other physical ailments may also be heard.
Loss Of Appetite: Not eating or binge eating can occur.
Guilt: Overwhelming feelings of guilt or hopelessness may also be indicators that your child needs intervention.
Because each child is different and because there are often outside influences and precursors to this disease, such as genetics and peer pressure, never take anything for granted. Because genetics plays a part in this equation, if you or your spouse or someone else in the family has experienced some form of depression, your child may be genetically wired for some of the same illnesses. Therefore, if your child exhibits any of these signs or engages in behaviors unusual for her, seek the advice of your child's physician.
Coping With Depression
The first and most important thing to do when you suspect some form of depression in you child is to seek medical attention. A trained professional can tell you what signs to look for and when these signs are indicative of an illness.
In order to learn when issues are too much for your daughter to handle, pay attention to her mood swings and learn from her emotional outbursts or moments of isolation. A child who suddenly becomes quiet and seeks safe harbor in her room may be dealing with overwhelming issues that might welcome your input. And whenever a teenage girl becomes obsessed with death or experiments with any form of mutilation to her own body such as cutting or burning herself it's time for you to obtain professional help.
Ways To Prevent Depression In Teen Girls
Parents are placed in a tough spot. The average adult isn't trained to recognize the signs of depression in teenage girls, and sometimes the signs are so minute even parents who are sensitive to their daughter's personality don't see depression for what it is. The best way to understand there's something going on with your daughter is to know your daughter as well as you can. Keep the family close-knit by engaging in activities together as a family, but also set aside time for just you and your daughter. Moms who spend time shopping with their daughter or enjoying other activities together often form a strong connection.
Also, daughters can and should bond with their fathers. As the father of a teenage girl, you can bond in the same way she and her mother bonded, or you can find other ways to spend time together. For instance, take on the responsibility of teaching your daughter to drive. In the process, teach her the mechanics of a car how to fix a tire, how to change the oil and how to pump gas, or spend time with her while teaching her about one of your own personal hobbies. Share of yourself with her, and most of the time she will share of herself with you in return. A teenage girl who has someone to open up to when she has a problem will already have a defense mechanism in place when problems soar. Another teenage girl who does not have this mechanism in place will have a harder time dealing with issues and may end up becoming seriously depressed.