Understanding signs of depression in your teen might be a little challenging sometimes. After all, being in a bad mood or acting a bit surly is pretty typical behavior for a teen, even on a relatively “normal” day.
But sometimes, you have an idea that maybe things are a little worse than that. You should take these signs very seriously and seek help for your teen, even if they seem like they don’t want it.
Dr. Judy E. Vansiea of Coping Nurse Practitioner in Psychiatry Services explains more about how to recognize the signs of depression in your teen and when you should seek help for them.
What are signs of depression in teens?
It can sometimes feel a bit difficult to detect the signs of depression in your teen. After all, being in a bad mood may seem pretty much like business as usual. But some signs are definitely more likely to indicate that a problem with depression or mental health may be happening:
- Feeling “blue” or down, especially when it persists consistently for more than two weeks
- Frequent tearfulness, crying, or sadness
- Lacking their usual level of energy
- Persistent boredom and lacking motivation to do anything (even if deadlines are hanging over their heads)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Poorer performance in school
- Loss of interest in activities they previously enjoyed
Any of these issues are possible signs of depression in teens, especially if they’re new symptoms.
Other behavioral changes to watch for
In addition, you want to watch out for behavioral changes. Some common behavioral changes we sometimes see in teens with depression:
- Tiredness and loss of energy
- Use of alcohol or drugs
- Changes in appetite (such as eating too much or too little)
- Slower thinking or body movements
- Social isolation
- Less attention to personal hygiene
- Angry outbursts
- Self-harm, such as cutting or burning themselves
- In some cases, they may also attempt suicide
Any of these signs alone is a good enough reason to seek help for your teen.
Signs of needing immediate help
Sometimes, you recognize just a little bit too late that your teen needed help, and that may not always warrant a call to Dr. Vansiea first. If there’s a life-threatening emergency, you should treat it accordingly.
Signs of an emergency situation include:
- Frequent self-harm
- Suicide attempts
- Making statements like “the world would be better off if I weren’t here”
Sometimes, your teen may be attempting to make a cry for help. If this is what’s happening, Dr. Vansiea can help you identify whether it’s something you can handle yourself.
If your teen is engaging in acts of self-harm or attempting suicide, you need to seek emergency services first. After your teen is declared stable enough, then we can establish an ongoing treatment relationship between them and Dr. Vansiea.
If your teen needs help, call Dr. Judy E. Vansiea at Coping Nurse Practitioner in Psychiatry Services today at 516-247-3525 or book online to schedule your appointment.