Identifying teenage depression is not easy to identify since it may exhibit depression symptoms similar to normal moodiness and melancholia in teens.
But depression can be a very serious problem that may have some drastic effects on the developing personality of a teen and may result in grave concerns such as severe anxiety, educational breakdown, self-harm, substance misuse, and suicide.
The good news is that the condition of teenage depression can respond well to treatment and is greatly reduced after identification and securing suitable intervention. In general, teenage years are turbulent periods in their lives. This is why it is expected for teens to act out, be irritable, and have occasional moodiness.
But depression is a completely different thing and keeping an eye on its warning signs is a must to prevent dire consequences.
Common Teenage Depression Symptoms
The following are some of the usual warning signs of depression in teens:
- Changing in sleeping and eating patterns
- Crying and tearfulness
- Despair and sadness
- Extremely harsh view of the self
- Irritability and anger
- Boredom, lack of motivation, or agitation
- Poor concentration and energy
- Poor sense of self-belief and self
- Suicidal ideation or self-harm
- Social withdrawal and loss of interest in activities enjoyed in the past
Teen Depression vs. Teen Moodiness
All of these features above exist on the spectrum. It is important to consider and take note of the longevity and severity of the features above to determine whether or not it is a depressive episode.
Dramatic changes in personality and behavior are the most common red flags for emerging problems. A lot of young people who try to cope with their emotional distress will externalize or act out via anger, moodiness, irritability, or school problems. Some internalize or act in that can be in the form of low self-esteem, withdrawal, secretive self-harm, and eating problems.
Adult Depression vs. Teen Depression
Depression symptoms in teens are different from those of adults. A lot of people consider that depression needs the usual taking to the bed, with adult depression often exhibiting this feature. Depression in teens can be a bit different.
Social withdrawal and sadness might not always be a feature. The truth is that rage, irritability, and anger tend to be much more prominent. Teenage depression also tends to be less pervasive, with most parents ruling out adolescent depression since it seems that their kid doesn’t look depressed on some days or when spending time with friends.
The lack of constancy doesn’t necessarily make it a reason not to include it in the diagnosis. Some other depression symptoms that are different in teen depression than those in adult depression include unexplained or psychosomatic pains and aches, increased irritability, unexplained withdrawal from activities, and extreme sensitivity to criticisms.
Depression and Suicide
Depression and suicide, despite being commonly associated, are not the case all the time. Suicidal behaviors and thoughts can take place with no clear depressive episode. Suicidal intent is also unnecessary to diagnose depression.
This means that suicidal urges and thoughts are crucial considerations for teens with depression symptoms. Inflicting self-harm is not directly associated with suicidal intent. Self-harm might only be an attempt of coping with emotional distress.