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Teenagers and depression the early signs

The majority of parents do all they can to provide their children with everything they need, often motivated by not having had much as a child themselves, parents strive to give their children a better life. They want their children to be happy, have friends, be healthy, do well at school and get a good job when they graduate. Teenagers, by their very nature, can be grumpy, disconsolate human beings with an amazing capacity for moaning. In the ever changing world of instant gratification they can seem to never be satisfied with what they have, always wanting more, faster, bigger, or smaller, and better.

The teenager who complains on their mobile that they are miserable or in answer to the parental query, “how are you?” responds with, “I’m so depressed, “is rarely actually suffering depression. They may be bored, in that their capacity to entertain themselves has been diminished by the over- availability of technology that does it for you. The cure here is a good old fashioned return to reading, walking, making something, discovering a hobby that does not need other people around to be enjoyed.

Depression is far more serious than occasional teenage grumpiness. The depressed teenager may well be very quiet, withdrawn, not engaging with family or friends. They may spend a lot of time in their room alone, sleep badly at night, and be tired and listless in the morning. They may seem unutterably sad, finding little pleasure in activities that they used to enjoy. On the other hand, some teenagers with depression get very irritable, snappy and hostile, restless and agitated. When you talk to them they portray themselves as “useless” they seem to have no self-esteem and they focus on the negative. Often their eating habits change and they seem to lack energy or the will to do anything.

A lot of these symptoms occur as natural teenage behavior at one time or another, to a greater or lesser degree. Identifying depression is complex but think of the following; has your teenagers behavior changed significantly; how long have they been like this and are they hyper sensitive to criticism and appear to be in pain? Psychologists believe that as little as 20% of all teenagers suffering depression are diagnosed and treated. Much of the acting out and apparently defiant behavior displayed by teenagers is actually early signs of depression. If your teenager starts talking about suicide, however unreal it seems, you should never ignore it. Many teenagers see suicide as an actual alternative to living miserably as they have little concept of the reality of death and can even romanticize the idea.

Whether you are sure or not; if your teenagers’ behavior causes you concern, get help. Depression is an illness, curable with treatment, doing nothing is dangerous and could have serious consequences.

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