The Face of Adolescent Depression
The years of transition from childhood to adulthood are fraught with physical, mental and emotional change. Of course teens feel unsteady and unsure in this midst of so much uncertainty. The good news is that, for most adolescents, things will settle down sometime near the end of their college years when their brain and body have finished maturing. But for one out of every 20 adolescents, symptoms of depression will stay with them.
Not a Normal Part of Emotional Development
Emotional mood swings are common during these years. So is the need for more sleep. Depression, on the other hand, is not a normal part of adolescent emotional development. Depression is an emotional disorder. Irritability and agitation can be symptoms. Parents have the delicate job of observing their adolescents to learn what is moodiness and what is a sign of something more serious.
Depression doesn’t only affect one group of teens, it affects all kinds of personalities. Avoid the trap of thinking that athletic kids can’t be depressed or book worms are more prone to depression.
Depression is not a temporary state. One point of diagnostic criteria is that sadness and other symptoms persist for two weeks or more. Once a young person experiences depression, their chances of experiencing another episode in the future increases.
It is Treatable
The good news about adolescent depression is that it is treatable. For those with mild-moderate depression. A mental health professional can help you with a plan of treatment for your teen that will start them on the road to recovery.
At Family Guidance Center we’ve worked with hundreds of young people dealing with depression. We understand the signs and know how to help. Don’t wonder if your teen is depressed. Talk with us to find out how to know for certain.