Teenage Depression: What are the signs?

Parenting leaves us with lots of questions. Our children are growing up very differently from the way we did. As parents, we might not understand everything our children deal with on a daily basis. They don’t always tell us what’s bothering them. Pediatric Partners often hears from parents who are concerned about teenage depression. Although we encourage you to explore teenage depression articles from credible medical and news sources, your pediatrician is always an expert on teenage health.

Is it depression or teen angst?

Approximately 20 percent of teens experience depression. One of the biggest challenges to recognizing teenage depression is distinguishing it from normal teenage mood swings. Sometimes, it’s difficult to determine whether our children are moody or clinically depressed. When we can’t tell the difference, undiagnosed teens never receive the rehabilitation and treatment they need to overcome depression, and it puts them at higher risk for self-harm or suicide. There are ways to tell the difference.

What to Look for

When determining if your teenager has depression, the Mayo Clinic suggests finding out if your teenager is suffering any of the following emotions:

  • Feelings of sadness and crying for no apparent reason
  • Frustration or feelings of anger over small things
  • Irritable or annoyed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
  • Loss of interest in, or conflict with, family and friends
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
  • Need for excessive reassurance
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things

Watch for changes in behavior, such as:

  • Tiredness and loss of energy
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss – or increased appetite and weight gain
  • Use of alcohol or drugs
  • Agitation or restlessness (pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still)
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Frequent complaints of unexplained body aches and headaches
  • Social isolation
  • Poor school performance or frequent absences from school
  • Less attention to personal hygiene or appearance
  • Angry outbursts, disruptive or risky behavior, or other acting-out behaviors
  • Self-harm (cutting, burning or excessive piercing or tattooing)
  • Making a suicide plan or a suicide attempt

If you suspect your teenager is suffering from depression, contact the experts at Pediatric Partners today to get your child tested and treated immediately.

We now have three locations to better serve our patients. The Evans office is located at 411 Town Park Blvd., the downtown Augusta office is located at 1303 D’Antignac Street, Suite 2600, and the new Grovetown office is located at 5135 Wrightsboro Road. For more information about Pediatric Partners, please feel free to call the office at 706-854-2500, visit pedpartners.com, or follow the Pediatric Partners of Augusta Facebook page.

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