If your teenager has started acting moody, irritated, or sad, it’s only reasonable that you have concerns. It’s natural for teenagers to go through mood swings—but how do you know when there’s something more serious happening?
Teenagers tend to hide their emotions from their parents, so it’s not always easy to tell if they’re moody or are developing depression. In reality, depression in teenagers is prevalent, and parents need to look out for signs that their child may be suffering.
That said, let’s take a look at some signs that your teen may be going through depression.
1. They’re Always Exhausted
It’s not abnormal for teenagers to sleep in late, but pay attention to any changes in sleeping habits. If your child has a hard time falling asleep at night or getting up in the morning, it could be a sign of depression. Insomnia is a widespread symptom, so it’s essential to check in with your child and pay attention to any sleep disturbances.
2. Change in Appetite
Another common symptom of depression is a change in appetite or eating habits. Your child may experience an increase or decrease in appetite, so pay attention to their eating habits. If your teenager occasionally skips a meal because they aren’t hungry, this likely isn’t a significant issue. However, if they’re consistently skipping dinner, this could be a sign that something more serious is going on.
3. They’re Extremely Irritable
It’s not always easy to distinguish a teenager’s moods. Sometimes, they have very short fuses and may get upset for seemingly no reason. Pay close attention; however, if it seems like your teenager has suddenly become extremely irritable.
Depression often causes mood swings, especially more negative moods like irritability or anger. If your child seems to be lashing out for no apparent reason, it may be somewhat out of their control.
4. They Don’t Want to Socialize Anymore
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell an introverted child from an anti-social one. If your teenager no longer has an interest in hanging out with friends, this could be a sign that they’re depressed. Depression tends to make its victims isolate themselves.
It’s only natural for teenagers to exhibit anti-social behaviors from time to time, but pay close attention if they seem only to want to be alone. Try reaching out to them or engaging them in activities if it looks like they’re spending too much time alone.
5. They No Longer Have Interest in Hobbies
A natural way to tell if someone may have depression is by noticing their hobbies. Teenagers are usually busy with extracurriculars, sports, or spending time with friends—but does it seem like these activities aren’t of interest to your child anymore?
If so, it could be symptomatic of depression. Depressed people tend to lose interest in things they once enjoyed, such as hobbies or going out with friends. If your child has lost interest in the activities they once loved, they very well could be suffering from depression.
Seeking Help for Troubled Teenagers
Teenagers go through phases and mood swings, and this doesn’t mean they’re depressed. However, it is also very possible that your teen may develop depression, which is why it’s so important to distinguish between moodiness and something more severe.
The best thing you can do if you suspect your child has depression is have an open, honest conversation with them. They may not want to express their emotions to you, but you should explain that you’re concerned about their well-being and want to offer them therapeutic help and support.
By getting your teenager into therapy, you can help them cope with depression and offer them relief from their struggle. You don’t have to feel helpless if your child is suffering from depression; professional help is readily available.
Talk to your child and contact our office for professional support for your teen’s depression.
Click here to learn more about our services: Teen Therapy