Depression and anxiety are becoming common words in the vocabulary of many families. With the current stressors of school, peer pressure, family, money, social media and technology, it is no wonder why todays teens are suffering more with depression and anxiety than ever before. Teenage behavior is so up and down as it is, that depression can sometimes be hard to identify. Teens do a great job of isolating and keeping to themselves so it may be hard for them to communicate and express what they are feeling and even harder to pick up on it.
According to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, there are 25 suicide attempts for every 1 successful suicide and across the country there are 117 suicides per day. Researchers have found that suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) youth is comparatively higher than among the general population. LGBT teens and young adults have one of the highest rates of suicide attempts.
- Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24. (2013 CDC WISQARS)
- Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for college-age youth and ages 12-18. (2013 CDC WISQARS)
- Each day in our nation there are an average of over 5,400 attempts by young people grades 7-12.
- Four out of Five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs
Symptoms of Teen Depression
How do you tell the difference between clinical depression and ordinary teen moodiness?
These are some of the signs parents may notice. If they last for at least two weeks, what you are seeing may be depression:
- An irritable, sad, empty or cranky mood and belief that life is meaningless.
- Loss of interest in sports or activities they used to enjoy, withdrawal from friends and family, pervasive trouble in relationships.
- Changes in appetite, significant weight gain or loss.
- Excessive late-night activities, too much or too little sleep, trouble getting up in the morning, often late for school.
- Physical agitation or slowness, pacing back and forth and/or excessive, or repetitive behaviors.
- Loss of energy, social withdrawal, withdrawal from usual activities, or boredom.
- Making critical comments about themselves, behavior problems at school or at home, overly sensitive to rejection.
- Poor performance in school, a drop in grades, or frequent absences.
- Frequent complaints of physical pain (headaches, stomach), frequent visits to school nurse.
- Writing about death, giving away favorite belongings, comments like “You’ve be better off without me.”
Keep in mind that a lot of these symptoms are also indicative of normal teenage behavior. That’s why teenage depression can only be diagnosed by a trained health or mental health professional — like a child psychologist or psychiatrist.
Tracy Todaro is Co-Founder of Invigorated Solutions (see http://www.invigoratedsolutions.com) Tracy is a certified Life Coach specializing in life transition coaching, career changes, major life changes and family matters. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
What about you? If you’re trying to change a certain script in your life, start small and experience some success. Build from there. What has been stopping you from moving forward with change? What rituals (or habits) do you want to change in your life? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
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Published by: Invigorated Solutions. Tracy is a published author and certified Life Coach specializing in life transition coaching, career changes, major life changes and family matters. They can be reached at email@example.com
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