Teenagers are known for their moodiness. It is a time in one's life when chores are more than just a burden, schoolwork is drudgery and the wrong word from a friend can seem like the end of the world. It's no wonder then that for parents, teachers and friends, signs of depression in teenagers can often be difficult to see. In fact, it is estimated that only 20 percent of teenagers suffering from depression ever get the help they need. However, clinical depression should never be confused with moodiness. Depression is a debilitating condition that can lead towards alcohol and drug abuse, violence and suicide.
These are the warning signs of clinical depression. The more of these signs that describe someone you know, (teenager or adult), the more important it is that they talk to their doctor about depression.
- sadness or hopelessness
- irritability, or outbursts of anger
- frequent crying
- lack of motivation
- withdrawal from friends or family
- change in eating habits, loss of appetite
- change in sleeping habits, sleeplessness or oversleeping
- loss of interest in once-favorite activities
- feelings of guilt
- feelings of worthlessness
- fatigue, or lack of energy
- difficulties in concentration
- preoccupied with thoughts of death
- suicidal thoughts
If you suspect a teen you know is suffering from depression, talk to them about it, or have them talk to an adult they can trust, preferably their family doctor. There are a wide variety of treatment options available for depression today, and there is no reason for anyone to suffer with depression alone.