The teenage years are some of the most challenging years in a young adult’s life. Due to the whirlwind of emotions, new experiences, and changes they undergo, it can be complicated to differentiate normal growing pains and depression. Although it’s treatable, only 50% of adolescents are diagnosed with major depressive disorder before reaching adulthood, delaying support and treatment.
Teenage depression can be caused by several different factors. From complicated bereavement, traumatic childhood experiences, to co-occurring medical or chronic conditions, many risk factors lead to its development. Consequently, your acceptance, love, and support can go a long way to guiding your teenager to overcome depression.
Irritability, poor academic performance, fatigue, restlessness, and loss of interest in hobbies and social activities are among the most common signs of teenage depression. Teenagers who are undiagnosed often don’t understand their condition and receive the help they need. As a result, they may act out in many ways to cope with emotional pain, such as:
- Alcohol and substance abuse
- Reckless behavior that includes self-harm or eating disorders
- Running away from home
However, none of these are healthy coping mechanisms that can improve their mental health. Unlike adults, teenagers depend on parents, teachers, and other adults to recognize their condition to guide them towards the right path. Depression is a highly damaging condition when left untreated, so it’s best to address it at an earlier stage.
Communicate your concerns with your teenage son or daughter in a loving, non-judgmental manner. Emphasize listening to their concerns and acknowledging their feelings. More importantly, consider receiving treatment through teen treatment centers like Teen Depression by involving them in their choice of treatment and highlighting its short and long-term benefits too.