Teen Depression: What it looks like and What You Can Do

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you!

I’m back on track today discussing issues that affect young adults. Today I wanted to touch on a topic that affects many people, but it’s especially tricky to spot in teenagers. That issue is depression.

According to Familyfirstaid.org, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among young adults between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four. I don’t know about you, but I found this statistic staggering!

The most common cause of suicide is depression. That being said, I’m deducing that since suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among teenagers that many teens are depressed, but only 1 in 5 teenagers receive help for this ailment. So, my theory is that if we start treating the depression in our young people the suicide rate will drop.

According to Helpguide.org, occasional bad moods and acting out is normal for teens as they go through puberty and try to find their place in the world. This behavior can look like depression, but it’s not. Depression is different. It causes an overwhelming sense of sadness, despair, or anger.

So how can you tell if your teen is going through the regular teenage angst that all teens go through or if what he/she is experiencing is depression? This is a very good question.

Again, according to Helpguide.org, the answer is the length of time the symptoms have been present and the severity of the symptoms. Long lasting changes in mood, personality, and behavior are all red flags to a deeper problem.

Here are some of the signs and symptoms of depression. You can find them all at Helpguide.org.

  • Sadness or Hopelessness
  • Irritability, anger, or hostility
  • Tearfulness or Frequent crying
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Loss of Interest in Activities
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Lack of Enthusiasm or motivation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

What can you do if you suspect your teen is depressed?

  • Offer support- Let your teenager know you’re there for them.
  • Be gentle but persistent- Don’t give up if your teen shuts you out at first.
  • Listen without lecturing- Resist any urge to criticize or judge once your teen decides to talk
  • Validate Feelings- Acknowledge the pain and sadness they are feeling

Getting treatment for Teen Depression

Take your child to your family physician and get a complete physical. Make sure you explain your teenager’s symptoms of depression.

Seek out a Depression Specialist

If your family physician does not find any health issues causing your teen’s depression then speak with a psychologist or psychiatrist who specializes in adolescence, and then listen to the advice of your counselor.

Teen depression is a serious situation, but there is help out there. You can visit Helpguide.org for more information, and I want to thank them for the valuable information used in this post.

If you have any insight into this issue please leave a comment. It may help someone who is suffering from depression. Thanks so much for stopping by today.

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About Lisa Orchard

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.
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12 Responses to Teen Depression: What it looks like and What You Can Do

  1. lisaorchard says:

    Thanks for stopping by, and if you have anything to add please leave a comment. 🙂

  2. I am a 9th grade English teacher and have dealt with several of my students suffering from depression and even attempted suicides. It’s heartbreaking, especially when you think back and are baffled by the fact that you were clueless to any of the signs. Sometimes it’s just hard to see. Of course, a teacher isn’t as close as a parent or friend, but it still makes you upset at yourself for not noticing.
    I’m very passionate about teens and helping them through the tough parts of life, giving them good examples to follow, and teaching them morals. If you don’t mind, I’d like to plug my new novel, Shadow Eyes, that was released by Musa Publishing in February. It’s a YA urban fantasy where the main character sees dark shadows enticing people to do evil things and/or surrounding them like a fog, feeding them lies of guilt, depression, anxiety, etc. It has so many good lessons and morals in it for teens as well as adults about a lot of issues, but depression is a major one. I just wanted to mention it perhaps for any parents reading this who might want something to offer their child besides a self-help book (not that those are bad – there are some great ones out there). 🙂

  3. Quite high quality blog post – thanks!

  4. Lisa Orchard says:

    Reblogged this on lisaorchard and commented:

    Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. Because we’re on vacation and I’m dealing with some health issues, I’m reblogging this post from a year ago. I hope you don’t mind and I hope it helps you with your teen! Happy Reading!

  5. ProteanMom says:

    Thanks for reposting. This is a HUGE issue among teens (and adults), and it’s not going to just go away overnight.

    There is always help available – we just have to help people know where to look for it.

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      Thanks for stopping by Protean Mom! I agree this is a huge issue and I believe that many addictions are really people trying to self medicate. I feel strongly if we help teens and adults deal with what’s causing the depression that’s leading to them to self medicate we as a society would be taking a huge step forward. 🙂

  6. Great post, definitely sharing.

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