Dealing with Teenage Depression
Depression is widespread. International studies have flagged it as one of the most devastating diseases on the face of the planet. Although no one is immune to the ravages of depression, certain demographics are more likely to suffer from the illness than others. Such a vulnerable group is the teenaged population. Statistics illustrate that incidences of depression are disproportionately common among young people and too often are accompanied by serious consequences.
Teenage depression is too often (and too easily) dismissed in many cases as being nothing more than an emotional “growing pain.” It is true that the changing nature of the body`s hormonal makeup, combined with encountering new dimensions and responsibilities in one`s life can induce some depressive symptoms in teenagers who are, in reality, perfectly healthy. However, that is not always the case, and any potential case of teenage depression must be taken extremely seriously.
Not every child who is in a down mood has a bona fide case of teenage depression, of course. The demands and social pressures placed upon teens can cause down moods in perfectly normal children. Children who experience these down periods for more than a few weeks at a time, or display other common symptoms of depression should be carefully evaluated in case a mere physical mental health problem does occur.
Changes in appetite, alterations in sleep habits, increased anxiety or irritability can be a host of other potential warning flags. If one is demonstrating sadness or despair, it might be a sign of teenage depression and must be checked. One should also check for other readily available diagnostic aids and lists of depressive symptoms for further guidance.
The consequences of overlooking the disorder are essential. Initially, the condition does deny individuals of a potentially high quality of life during a crucial developmental stage. Additionally, younger people have not yet necessarily developed the kinds of coping mechanisms and wider perspectives adults can use when dealing with depression. This lack of coping tools is one reason why teenage depression tends to result in a greater propensity for suicide than does its adult counterpart.
Kids will be kids, and part of being a growing kid is moodiness. Sometimes, that moodiness will manifest itself as a simple case of the “blues.” Fortunately, even more severe situations of this nature often tend to pass in a few weeks as the situations spurring them fade into memory. However, when the episodes seem even slightly emotional or last longer than two weeks, a serious case of teenage depression may be present.
If there is any possibility that your teenager is depressed, consult with a medical professional as soon as possible. The potential consequences of this mental health problem are sufficiently severe to justify and heightened level of concern and a willingness to err on the side of caution. It might be nothing, but it might be teenage depression.
A helpful recourse? Helping Your Depressed Teenager: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers
“The authors have produced a very readable, extremely well informed and comprehensive book that will add greatly to the knowledge base of interested parents. This book is strongly recommended.” –Stewart Gable, MD Chairman, Department of Psychiatry The Children’s Hospital, Denver, Colorado You supported and encouraged them as they grew from toddlers to teens.
Now you are confronted with one of the toughest challenges you and they will ever face – teenage depression.
Adolescence is a period of peaks and valleys. Most teens negotiate these years with relative ease; yet for some these times are treacherous with countless pitfalls. When depression ensues, it can interfere with much of your child’s potential. Clinical depression is now epidemic among American teens, and teen suicide can be a deadly consequence. Helping Your Depressed Teenager is a practical guide offering family solutions to a family problem. This book will sensitize you to the hidden struggles of adolescents and assist you in understanding their multifaceted problems.
The authors are experts in this field and have helped countless youngsters confront and overcome their depressed mood. In a highly readable and gentle manner, they help you see behind the “masks” of troubled teens who attempt to hide their true feelings. They help you distinguish the subtle and sometimes not so subtle signs that something is seriously wrong. And they help you provide the loving support and assistance teenagers need to make it through this difficult life passage. Some of the useful information provided:
* What families can do to prevent teen depression
* How to tell the difference between moodiness and depression
* How to read the warning signs of a troubled teenager
* How to know when professional help is needed and where to find it
* How to choose the right treatment options for your teen