Teenage is known as the most tricky age. A teenager goes through many biological, emotional, physical, and mental changes. Also, at this age, we learn so much about how life works. Not all experiences are good, actually the majority of them. Many teenagers are suffering from mental health issues. Some are at a mild stage and some are at severe. Many mental health issues like anxiety and depression can affect teenagers at a severe level.
Depression is a mood disorder. It may be described as a constant feeling of sadness, frustration, anger, or loss that hampers a person’s daily life. But if you were just sad for some time due to some particular reason, then you are not depressed.
Depression is very common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, an estimated 8.1 per cent of American adults ages 20 and above had depression in any given 2-week period from 2013 to 2016. Depression affects a patient’s life in different ways. Sometimes it may hamper your work-life, relationships, emotional well-being, etc. It may affect your working skills and result in a loss of time. A person suffering from any chronic disease can face more difficulty with depression. Depression can worsen the situation of a chronic disease patient. Chronic diseases like arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity can be negatively affected by depression.
Symptoms of Depression in Teens
Depression is not common for everyone. Every individual brain acts differently towards depression. Even depression shows different symptoms for males, females, and children. Hence symptoms of depression in teens may vary too.
Depression can cause emotional changes, such as:
- Feelings of sadness, which can include crying spells for no apparent reason
- Frustration or feelings of anger, even over small matters
- Feeling hopeless or empty
- Irritable or annoyed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
- Loss of interest in, or conflict with, family and friends
- Low self-esteem
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Fixation on past failures or exaggerated self-blame or self-criticism
- Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure, and the need for excessive reassurance
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
- Ongoing sense that life and the future are grim and bleak
- Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
Depression can cause changes in behaviour, such as:
- Tiredness and loss of energy
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Changes in appetite — decreased appetite and weight loss, or increased cravings for food and weight gain
- Use of alcohol or drugs
- Agitation or restlessness — for example, pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
- Frequent complaints of unexplained body aches and headaches, which may include frequent visits to the school nurse
- Social isolation
- Poor school performance or frequent absences from school
- Less attention to personal hygiene or appearance
- Angry outbursts, disruptive or risky behavior, or other acting-out behaviors
- Self-harm — for example, cutting, burning, or excessive piercing or tattooing
- Making a suicide plan or a suicide attempt
Also check out: Anxiety Disorder in Teens – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
Causes of Depression in Teens
Depression is a mental health disorder that can hamper your daily life. There can be many possible causes due to which a teenager can suffer from depression.
Chemical changes in the brain – Neurotransmitters are naturally occurring brain chemicals that carry signals to other parts of your brain and body. Abnormalities or impairment in the level of chemical changes the function of nerve receptors and nerve systems leading to depression.
Hormones– Changes in the body that take place during the age of teenager cause hormonal changes. Such changes in the body affect the mental health of the person. Random mood swings may take place. Sometimes these episodes can go chronic and turn into the symptoms of depression.
Inherit traits – Depression can be inherited from parents. If any one of the parents or both the parents of a teenager has a history of depression, the child is more likely to inherit it.
Early childhood trauma– Any trauma at an early age can leave an impact on someone. Early childhood trauma can surely be a very strong and justified reason for a person to have depression in his or her growing years.
Also check out: Clinical Depression – Risks, treatment, symptoms.
if you are feeling that your depressive episodes are getting severe, then start finding the reasons. What is that one thing or multiple things that are making you feel so depressed? Try to avoid so much pressure on yourself as you are too young for it. Keep yourself busy but with positivity, Do things that bring positivity and make you happy. This can help you out so much in staying calm. Some other steps to adopt are:
Tell a parent or other adult about physical sensations, worries, or fears.– It is very important for a teen to consult his parents or any other adult about the symptoms of depression This is because you never know if it gets severe as time passes. So share it with someone elder than you so that you have some proper guidance.
Get a checkup– It is important to get a check-up at the initial stage of this disorder so that it doesn’t grow inside your body. Getting treatment at an early stage will lead to a positive life.
Educate yourself– Sometimes, when you don’t know much about a situation, you are more likely to make false alarms. You need to know that what are the actual symptoms of depression, how severe are they with you, and in what situations.
If anyone near you is facing depression and you want to contribute in improving the condition of depression in teens, then you can reach out to them and talk to them.