Teenage Depression: How to Identify and Help Overcome

    Teenage Depression

    The arrival of adolescence is marked by big changes in a kid’s body and sometimes they become a reason for teenage depression. Teenagers feel like they are losing firm ground, they try to estrange themselves from others, feel low or experience a lack of interest for various activities.

    Many teenagers get sort of trapped between adolescence and adulthood. On one hand, they already feel themselves all mature and grown up, but on the other one, adults refuse to see them as equals.

    Reasons for depression

    Hormonal changes during adolescents’ sexual maturation are able to cause instability of brain chemistry causes mood swings, depression and feeling of anxiety. There is a reason why adolescence is considered to be the only period when a human body goes through physical changes of such a huge scale. These hormonal changes will pass after the teenager’s body matures, but it doesn’t mean that teenage depression is just a fleeting phenomenon and shouldn’t be taken seriously.

    Factors that increase development of depression and stress responses in teens:

    – negative attitude to their own body;
    – increased ability to critically reflect on their own personality and future (teenagers tend to focus on negative possibilities);
    – poor school performance;
    – low expectations in life;
    – low confidence and self-esteem.

    How can you figure out your kid’s depression and help fight it?

    Watch your kid when he can’t see you. Quite often teenagers try to hide their emotions behind smiles and pretended cheerfulness when they know someone looks at them, but when they are alone, they are sad and downcast.

    Symptoms of teenage depression

    The best way to find out that your child is really depressed is to learn more about the symptoms and how they develop:

    – absence of appetite;
    – apathy;
    – excessive sleeping;
    – insomnia;
    – suicidal ideas.

    Depression in boys and girls: not the same thing

    Depression symptoms may vary depending on gender. Teenage boys may get addicted to drugs or alcohol while teenage girls tend to hide their symptoms deep inside. In fact, depression is much more common in girls than in boys: the number of female teenagers suffering from depression is twice bigger than that of male teenagers. Psychologists think that this is attributable to the influence of gender socialization: during adolescence, with the transition from primary school to secondary school, girls experience a certain decrease of self-esteem.

    Don’t ignore your kid’s complaints about a headache, a sore throat or an upset stomach because depression may manifest itself in a form of an illness. Your beloved teenager will have a significantly bigger chance to get rid of depression if he is diagnosed correctly.

    Don’t underestimate the issue

    If you are a mom or a dad of a kid who is prone to depression, don’t think this will just go away as your child grows up. See your family doctor and try to figure out, with some professional help, whether your child’s emotional rollercoaster is a real depression.

    Talk to your kid and learn more about his feelings and inner turmoil.

    The thing is that every fit of depression makes a negative way of thinking more and more accustomed. That’s why adults have a hard time fighting it, but if your kid learns more about the ways of overcoming depression, it will be so much easier for him.

    Don’t overestimate the issue

    Overestimating the role of emotional stress that kids experience during adolescence can lead to more problems. On one hand, it’s commonly believed that teenagers are prone to psychological stress. On the other hand, those teenagers who really need some help and support are not taken seriously: whatever issues or feelings they have, they are treated like something normal and usual for this life stage. It goes without saying that it’s important to be able to tell stressed teenagers from those who are not and to treat the former and the latter ones adequately.

    Have you ever faced teenage depression? What methods did you use to help your child overcome it and which of them were effective and which ones weren’t? Please share your experience with us.


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