All too often, when parents realize that their teen is suffering from depression, it is already too late. They have either committed suicide or are way too gone down the self-harm road. In the first case, it is impossible to bring them back and all that is left is a life of regret for the parents. In the second case, it might be possible to bring them back but they can relapse at any moment in their lives.
What parents need to do is take early notice of signs and symptoms that show your teen is suffering from depression. However, it is not always easy to do so. Teenage live is a time of rapid change and development. What you think is depression and become overbearingly concerned about might just be a phase. Sudden but expected and completely normal. Still, there are some things that are obvious signs of depression. If you see any of these signs in your teen, please talk to them and provide them with adequate mental health treatment.
Irregular Sleep Pattern
Irregular sleep pattern is common among teenagers. They are naturally more interested in music, games, movies, Facebook, Instagram, etc and trying to keep up with what’s trending. Staying up all night and sleeping all day isn’t very serious. But it is still unhealthy. And if it is accompanied by other behavioral issues, then it is definitely a cause for concern. It might not be depression, but if your teen has an irregular sleep pattern, you should talk to them.
Complaints About Physical Pain and Fatigue
The signs of mental illness are not always psychological. They can also manifest themselves in physical forms. One of the earliest symptoms of depression is always feeling tired. You never have any energy for doing anything. Headaches and migraines are common. If your teen constantly complains of headaches, backaches, stomachaches and fatigue, it might be a good idea to take them for a check-up.
Participation in Rebellious Activities
If your teen is depressed, they will definitely exhibit reckless behavior. Alcohol, drugs and sex are common factors in teen depression. They resort to such things as a coping mechanism or escape from their feelings and problems. However, these came way later in the game. At an earlier stage, your teen won’t be outright reckless, he or she will first resort to slight rebellion. For example, dressing inappropriately, staying out late, getting tattoos, riding a motorcycle.
While these things don’t necessarily indicate depression, they can point to emotional turbulence. It is important that you show support and understanding in this case. They may even go out & get a motorcycle if it’s within their power.. Just make sure they are in the right frame of mind to take the motorcycle driver license test & becoming regular riders. You can learn more about it at https://www.ladahlaw.com/faqs/motorcycle-license-test-lessons.
Apathetic Demeanor and Refuse to Communicate
Children naturally grow distant from their parents as they enter teenage years. They develop new interests and hobbies which are completely different from the previous ones. They start demanding more privacy and independence. That much is quite normal. However, if they become entirely apathetic and refuse to communicate with you, it can be a sign of depression. It can also mean that your teen is going through some problems and bottling things inside. If they don’t have friends, withdraw themselves from everyone and shut themselves up in their rooms all the time, it absolutely calls for concern.
Irritated and Angry all the Time
While some teens become apathetic and don’t care about anything at all, others become too emotional. If your teen is showing reckless behavior and becomes irritated when you try to talk to them, you should consult a therapist. Depression is not only sadness, as per common perception. It can make you feel a lot of emotions. You can be angry for no reason or display aggressive behavior over little things. You can feel utterly hopeless and see no way out of it. Not to mention, the feelings of guilt, worthlessness and inferiority are often accompanying feelings. All these emotions affect the way you behave, especially teenagers.
In conclusion, a lot of things can indicate that your teen is suffering from depression. Noticing them early on and taking appropriate actions can save their lives.