Tuesday, January 11, 2011

TEEN TRENDS: YOUR TEEN & DEPRESSION



(This blog is written to inform parents and others of disturbing trends of teenagers.)



Would you know if your teen was suffering from depression?  Occasional bad moods or acting out is normal teenage behavior.  There will be many days when your teen will come home in a bad mood and appear unhappy, but depression causes an overwhelming sense of sadness, hopelessness, and anger. Depression strikes teenagers far more often than most people think.

WHY DO TEENAGERS GET DEPRESSED?
  • School performance
  • Social status with peers
  • Sexual orientation
  • Family life
  • Environmental stress
We all know the teenage years are full of drama and sometimes it is hard to distinguish between depression and normal teenage moodiness. But teenagers rely on their parents to recognize their suffering and to intervene on their behalf.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:
  • Sadness or hopelessness
  • Irritability, anger or hostility.  Anger is often the predominant mood.  A depressed teen may be grumpy, hostile, easily frustrated or prone to angry outbursts.
  • Tearfulness or frequent crying
  • Withdrawal from friends and family.  While teens may keep up some friendships, they may socialize less often, pull away from parents or start hanging with a different crowd.
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • Lack of enthusiasm and motivation
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Change in eating and sleeping habits, which can include loss of interest in food or compulsive eating that results in rapid weight loss or gain.
  • Unexplained aches and pains, such as headaches or stomachaches
  • Extreme sensitivity to criticism, rejection or failure.  This is especially true for over-achievers.
  • Irresponsible behavior, such as forgetting obligations, being late for classes, and skipping school.
  • Sudden drop in grades
  • Use of alcohol or drugs and promiscuous sexual activity.  
Making it more difficult to recognize teen depression is the fact that teens who are depressed do not always appear sad and withdrawn.  As parents, we have to be aware of dramatic and long-lasting changes in their personality, mood or behavior.

**UNTREATED DEPRESSION CAN LEAD TO:
  • Problems at school - poor attendance, a drop in grades or frustration.
  • Substance abuse - Teens may use alcohol or drugs in an attempt to self-medicate their depression, but alcohol and drugs only makes things worse.
  • Low self-esteem - feelings of ugliness, shame, failure, and worthlessness
  • Eating disorders - anorexia, binge eating, and bulimia
  • Self-injury - Cutting, burning, and other self mutilation are almost always associated with depression.  (Find more information here on Self Mutilation)
  • Reckless behavior - Depressed teens may engage in dangerous or high-risk behaviors, such as reckless driving, out-of-control drinking or unsafe sex.
  • Violence - Some depressed teens (usually boys who are bullied) become violent, as was the case in the many school shootings in the past.  Self-hatred and a wish to die can erupt into violence and homicidal rage.
  • Suicide - Teens who are seriously depressed often think, speak or make attempts at suicide. (Suicidal thoughts or behaviors should always be taken seriously.)
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year-old's, and depression plays a key role.

WARNING SIGNS:
  • Talking or joking about committing suicide.
  • Saying things like "I'd be better off dead."
  • Writing stories or poems about death, dying, and suicide.
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Seeking out weapons, pills or other ways to kill themselves.
(Find more information here on Suicide)

*WHAT CAN PARENTS DO?:
  • Offer support - Let your teen know you are there for them no matter what.
  • Listen without lecturing - Resist the urge to criticize, avoid offering unsolicited advice or ultimatums. (This is so hard for us to do, but fight that urge.  Sometimes we only have to listen.)
  • Validate their feelings
  • Encourage physical activity - Encourage your teen to stay active.  Exercise can help relieve symptoms of depression.
  • Encourage social activity - Isolation makes depression worse, so encourage your teen to see friends.
  • Learn about depression - The more you know, the better prepared you'll be to help your teen.
  • Seek professional help
  • Stay involved in their treatment, especially if your teen is placed on antidepressants, because their depression could get worse.
If you teen is suffering from depression, recovery can be a rough and slow,ride so be patient.  But more importantly, don't blame yourself for your teen's depression.






















* http://www.webmd.com/depression
** http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression-teen.html
***Image by: http://www.nwi.com












25 comments:

Show Me Mama said...

I am your new follower. You can follow me back at http://showmemama.com. Make sure you leave a comment so I know you visited.

Kelly~ Wave of Life Surf Studio said...

Great article- it is so important to be aware of depression in teens. Thanks for posting! Hi~ I am your newest follower from the blog hop & would love it if you stopped by and returned the love :)

http://waveoflifesurfstudio.blogspot.com/

Crystal said...

Good post. Thanks for stopping by and folowing. Following back

charsmith106 said...

Great post. I'm about 6 years away from the teen years but it's good info to read now. Following you from the blog hop. You can find me over at www.momsguidetotravel.com.
See ya!
Tawanna

Living in Taradise said...

wonderful post! Much needed, my husband and I work a lot with youth and we see this all firsthand!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and helping to make my SITS day wonderful!

Eva Gallant said...

What an excellent post. A lot of valuable information!
I just stopped by from SITS to say hello; hope you will find time to do the same.

my family said...

a new follower I will be here more often as I have 3 daughters (still somewhat young ages 7-11)

Alicia Stucky said...

Newest follower. I'm glad to have found the blog of a mother to someone older than a pre-schooler. I have a pre-teen step-daughter whom my husband and I have costody of... It's often hard to find other moms who can relate to the things we go through raising her. :-) I definitely look forward to reading more.

aliciastucky.blogspot.com

Guwini said...

I'm a new follower via GCF from stepping by saturday bloghop.

Please support me by commenting on this post:

http://green-bellpepper.blogspot.com/2011/01/minute-maid-pulply-day.html


Thanks and Happy saturday!

~Gwen

CarliAlice said...

Thanks for posting. No matter what it is difficult to see depression in teenagers...just due to their general state. My son tried to commit suicide his Sophomore year of high school. He was in therapy for years and still suffers from depression. Since he's 19 and in college I can't get him to go to counseling anymore. He hates it. I'm also overly sensitive to anything he or my 15 year old says because it’s happened before-- they hate that.

New GFC follower from Steppin By Saturday.

Carli
http://www.grandmasguidetolife.blogspot.com

Clayton Thomas said...

Newest follower- Really great post to a serious problem. I really liked the "What Parents Can Do" section. Thanks for the input.

All my best,

Clay
http://tantrumstroublesandtreasures.blogspot.com/2011/01/is-it-ok-to-lie-to-my-kids.html

Classy Career Girl said...

Excellent post! I bet this will help a lot of parents and students. Thanks for the information!

Ourfamilyworld said...

Thank you for sharing this with us.
Very helpful tips.

New follower through saturday hop.
Have a great weekend

Olfa
http://www.ourfamilyworld.com/blog/

1grown2togo said...

New GFC follower from Relax & Surf, as a parent of 2 teens and a 20 year old this blog is very informative great info~Shari

http://www.1grown2tgo.blogspot.com

LisaDay said...

These are great posts. Well done.

LisaDay

Paula Schuck said...

This is a great blog and there are some super posts here. As my tween grows up I will be back for more information. Thanks you. New follower Paula
@inkscrblr
http://www.thriftymommastips.blogspot.com/

Minna said...

Ahhhhh, great post. I have/had depression problems for 2+ years and the information in this post is invaluable.

The teen years are the first time we really become aware of the world and our place in it, and that can be so overwhelming.

Benjamin said...

I'ld like to add that I think a great deal of frustration that teenagers have is having to choose between being fake and being true to themselves. If they pretend to love experimenting or doing what their friends tell them to do, they loose themselves and so are not free. If they decide to be themselves they are ignored or bullied. And because approval is important to every human being depression sets in to numb the discomfort of being frustrated all the time.

Teenshares said...

This is a good common sense Blog. Very helpful to one who is just finding the resources about this part. It will certainly help educate me.

samrx said...

Well nowadays the young people feel depressed for anything. I don't know what happen to these people. The key to live this life it's to live happy and relax there's no other way.

Jim said...

Great resource here, i'm sure lots of people have already and will continue to find this useful. I have found a wide range of resources and guides to how to feel happy online which i've shared with my teenage kids. I really think the internet can be a good way for withdrawn kids to find answers to their problems through open forums such as these.

family counseling Metro Atlanta said...

It is really important that parents are aware of teen trends that can lead to depression. There should be an open communication between parents and children so that these conditions can be avoided. Thanks for sharing this very relevant article.

hebehemi Sato said...

I found your weblog website on google and verify a few of your early posts. Proceed to keep up the very good operate.natural depression treatment

Meena said...

Your blog is a useful site for those in the onset of depression and for parents with teenagers.Please take a look at http://www.redeem-depression.com/2013/01/blog-post.html for ideas on how to stop depression.

Felix Stewart said...

I agree that the rise in the suicide attempt statistics among teens is quite alarming. It can be difficult to figure out the cause, or what the reason is for hurting themselves. So as much as possible, parents must reach out to their children and have an open communication with them. Better yet, set aside a time of the day, or a couple of days a week to spend some time with them and talk about his or her experiences are for the past few days, or even just hanging out and having some quality time with them. This is to ensure that their focus is being diverted from the internal struggles that they were battling.

Felix Stewart @ Frontenac Youth Services

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