What are the Hidden Signs of Teenage Depression that Parents Should Look For?

Teens face unspeakable pressures, from physical changes to doubts about who they are and what they want to do with their lives, so it is no wonder they are often known for being a moody and temperamental group.

Meanwhile, occasional bad moods and acting out could be normal adolescent conduct, these sort of behaviors also can suggest underlying depression or anxiety.

During the teenage years, it is formal for boys and girls to sometimes feel stressed, sad, or angry for what may appear like irrational or non-existent reasons to someone else. For instance, as a parent, you may not understand why your son/daughter is sulking around for days over a comment made by a friend, or why your child is so angry about a misunderstanding over chores. While swings in mood and strong feelings are hallmarks of adolescence, it is essential to recognize that some behaviors possibly indicate the serious problem of teenage depression.

Eminent Psychologist for Adolescents in India, Shivani Misri Sadhoo talks about some signs that suggest that your child could be experiencing adolescent depression.

Sadness or Anger That Doesn’t Dissipate

It’s absolutely normal for teens to feel sad or angry occasionally. What is not normal is having these negative feelings staying for several days or weeks. There are some circumstances where grief or sadness over a long period of time seems to be normal; if someone has died in the family (including that of a pet) or your family is going through a tried time (like losing your home), sadness or anger over a period of time can just be part of getting through the stages of grief. However, if your teen child seems to be angry or sad for no explainable reason for a long period of time, he or she could be suffering from adolescent depression.

Frequent Alterations in Eating Habits

Like adults, teens mostly eat in response to their emotions. If your teenage kid has suddenly no appetite and appears to reduce weight or, conversely, is eating more than normal and gaining weight, depression probably is the cause. Any major weight gain or weight loss in your teenage kid should prompt a visit to the doctor first to rule out medical causes, including an eating disorder, or to a professional psychologist for anxiety or depression.

Unexplained Minor Illnesses, Aches/Pains

Several people do not know that depression can carry physical pain too with itself. If your teen is mostly complaining about headaches, stomach-aches, or other aches and pains throughout the body, the cause could be mental rather than physical. Note that it does not mean that your child is not quite feeling the pain; the physical discomfort is a reality. It merely means that a chemical imbalance, rather than a physical illness, could be the cause.

Change in Sleeping Habits

Several teens, if provided the choice, would prefer to stay up for long and sleep late. Your teen probably does this on the weekends and during school breaks and is showing completely common behavior. If your teen’s sleep patterns are bothering him or her, however, or hindering with schoolwork and activities, adolescent depression could be a reason. This mental health condition can lead to insomnia or a tendency to sleep more than what is usually needed. Sometimes teens with depression will change between the two extremes.

Lack of Interest in Favorite Activities

A depressed teenager may lose interest in activities that he used to enjoy earlier. It is fine for young people to want to try new things and, at times, abandon old activities and sports. If your teen is not adopting up new activities to replace those that he/she is no longer interested in, however, this possibly be a sign of adolescent depression. This is also while dropping all preferred activities at the same time. For instance, a teen who plays cricket volunteers at an animal shelter and goes to the movies with friends on the weekends deciding to drop all of those activities can be indicating a symptom of depression. A teen opting to drop singing to join the dance club instead is mostly just experimenting with various activities, which is normal.

Falling Grades

If your teen feels pride in securing good grades, a significant drop might be just another stage of development or a sign that something wrong is going on. In certain cases, that “something serious” might be depression or another mental illness. One thing why depression can cause poor grades is that it tries to rob a person of motivation. If your teen is usually motivated to keep his or her grades good, succeed at extracurricular tasks, or hold down a job, the loss of this motivation is perhaps worth looking into.

Besides, the above said things if suddenly your teen child become addictive be it of drugs or even alcohol or signs of a sudden thought of suicide are also some of the signs that need immediate attention being a parent.

Your Counselor Is Now Just Skype/Video Call Away

During the current challenging time, it’s common to experience anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and relationship challenges at home. While you are under lockdown and maintaining social distancing norms to help the country to control COVID-10 spread, your very own counsellor Shivani is now just a call and Skype video call away from you.

However, in this age of coronavirus, we hope to offer our therapeutic help. Change is difficult for all of us and changing the way you meet with your therapist is no exception.  But try it before you disregard this option.  This is a challenging moment in time, and fears and anxieties are running high. 

You may find, telepsychology isn’t a second-rate option. Instead, it’s an effective and efficient upgrade to a valuable service! 

Feel free to call Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo at +91-8860875040 for telephonic or video support and to book an online counselling session to address any relationship issues, emotional and psychological challenges.