Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions in the United States. It affects more than 16 million adults each year. And it doesn’t end with adults. Depression is common in children and teens as well. It is estimated that around 14% of teens struggle with depression, but this number is likely even higher. If your teen is dealing with depression, it is essential that you know the facts so you can get them the help that they need. Here are some things that parents should know about teen depression.
Understanding Depression in Teens
There’s more to depression than just feeling sad. It affects a person’s mood, thoughts, body, and behavior and can lead to various emotional and physical problems. The first thing to understand is that teen depression is real and not “just a phase.” It’s a severe mental health condition that can have lasting effects. If you think your teen is depressed, don’t ignore it. A qualified medical professional can help you figure out if it’s depression and the suitable treatment options.
Recognizing the Symptoms
Teenagers go through a lot of physical and emotional changes. Their moods and reactions may be unpredictable sometimes. It may be difficult to differentiate between common teenage challenges and deeper issues. Each type of mental illness has its own set of symptoms, and parents need to be aware of these symptoms to help their teenager get the proper treatment.
The most common symptoms of depression include a persistent feeling of sadness or emptiness, loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed, and a general sense of hopelessness. Other symptoms of depression can include fatigue, sleep problems, and difficulty concentrating. If left untreated, depression can lead to severe outcomes such as self-harm and suicide.
Teenagers with depression may also experience anxiety. Anxiety symptoms can include feeling restless, nervous, or on edge, having a sense of impending danger or doom, and experiencing physical symptoms such as sweating, heart palpitations, and difficulty breathing.
Get Professional Help
While it is normal for teens to experience some sadness and anxiety, depression is more than just a normal emotional state. It is a severe mental health condition that can interfere with a teen’s ability to function at home, school, and in social situations.
The exact cause of depression can be challenging to determine. However, a mental health professional can help with the diagnosis. They can perform a physical exam to rule out any medical conditions that could be causing the symptoms of depression and can talk to the teen about their symptoms and feelings. They can also refer the teen to other mental health specialists for further evaluation and treatment.
While there are many different types of depression, they all have one thing in common: they can make a person feel hopeless, lost, and frustrated. Early intervention can be vital in preventing the problem from aggravating. If you are concerned that your teenager may be dealing with depression, get in touch with a mental health professional.
Depression in teens is a serious issue that needs attention. The earlier it is detected, the better. Pristine Mental Health can help identify and treat depression in teens. Contact us now to learn more.