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  • These 6 Signs may Indicate Depression in your Teen

    Teenagers undergo a tough transition period from childhood to young adulthood, and understanding their behavior can be challenging. Is their out-of-control behavior related to the natural process of adolescence or something more serious?

    According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2016 approximately 3.1 million adolescents between the ages of 12 to 17 experienced at least one episode of major depression. Depression is a serious mood disorder that, if left untreated, can lead to serious short and long-term mental and even physical health issues. Moreover, depression carries a high risk of suicide.

    Below are six signs you can look for to determine if your teen could be experiencing depression.

    1. Excessive Crying and Sadness

    Most teenagers experience high emotions from time to time, but excessive crying and sadness that persist for more that two weeks may indicate depression.

    2. Lack of Motivation and Interest

    Teenagers suffering from depression may have difficulty concentrating. As a result, they may lose motivation and interest in activities that once occupied their time.

    3. Problems at School

    Problems at school could also be caused by a lack of concentration and motivation. For example, skipping school, lack of participation in school and extracurricular activities, and plunging grades are all signs that your teen could be depressed.

    4. Changes in Weight or Eating Habits

    Has your teen’s eating habits changed? Are they skipping meals or eating larger portions more frequently? Eating more or less, as well as dramatic changes in weight (either gained or lost) is one of the signs of depression.

    5. Withdrawal

    Depression causes people to isolate themselves. It’s common for a depressed teen to begin separating themselves from friends and family, wanting to instead spend time alone or locked in their room. If your teen is depressed, you may start to notice them begin to avoid spending time with friends and loved ones.

    6. Suicidal Ideation

    Thoughts or expressions of death or suicide should never be taken lightly. Threats or even jokes about suicide are a cry for help from your teen. If your teen expresses thoughts of suicide, react calmly, and then seek immediate help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

    If you suspect that your teen is experiencing depression, it’s important that you seek professional help from an experienced mental health professional that specializes in treating teens. Call me today and let’s set up an appointment to talk.