The teenage stage involves a myriad of changes, both physical and emotional, as well as in the aspect of interpersonal relationships.
This is a key step in shaping our way of being and focusing on adulthood. Hormonal changes and certain social situations can make the teenager more vulnerable and irritable, and is a stage during which mood disturbances can occur and. One in five young people suffer from depression at some point during this stage. Teenagers with depression he may isolate himself and show symptoms of continued discouragement.
- If this behavior persists for at least six months, it could be a sign that the young person is suffering from some type of depression.
What Are the Symptoms of Depression in Young Adolescents?
Various international institutions such as the WHO and the American Psychiatric Association have developed a series of guidelines that define and describe the different symptoms and signs that warn us that a teenager may be suffering from depression.
Depression at this vital stage is the third leading cause of suicide. Therefore, we must be aware of this reality in order to act to minimize this problem.
Then we list the most common symptoms that can tell us that a teenager may be having a bad time:
1. Sleep disorders
When the teenager seriously changes his habits associated with the hours of sleep, something can happen. In some cases, this can be one of the first physical signs of depression. When the young person sleeps a few hours or too many hours, the underlying disorder may be depression. In any case, the existence of a symptom does not mean that this person is suffering from depression, but it is a warning sign.
- More information on this point: “Sleep disorders: everything you need to know”
2. Abulia: loss of interest
When a teenager who used to have fun and had hobbies and activities they were passionate about loses interest in these things, one should start to worry. We can see how elusive and boring the young man will be, and prefer to spend a lot of time without the company of friends or family..
3. Changes in eating behavior
It is often said that extremes are never good. Well, this case is a clear example. When someone completely loses the urge to eat, or on the contrary eats excessively, something is wrong. Eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia nervosa, can be closely linked to depression.
4. Anger and sobs for no apparent reason
Spontaneous signs of anger and sadness are quite common in patients with depressive disorders. When we talk about teenagers, fits of anger or crying may appear for no observable cause or reason. If this situation becomes frequent, we should think about asking for help.
5. Gradual abandonment of their friendships
A notable aspect of adolescents with depression is that they gradually move away from their friends, showing little interest in social life and preferring to isolate themselves from contact with others..
6. Lack of ability to concentrate and decline in academic performance
The young man going through a bad mood phase he generally has a poor ability to concentrate, In addition to various problems when memorizing things and making decisions. These factors, together with less motivation to study, often translate into poorer academic performance.
7. Low self-esteem and negative self-conception
Low self-esteem is a very common trait among young people in general, however when it becomes something persistent it can end up generating derogatory comments towards oneself and can be a sign of depression. Excessive guilt, overblown criticism, and emotional dependence on others should also make us notice that something is happening.
- Learn more about this question: “Why do I hate myself? Causes and solutions”
8. Aggressive behavior and flirting with illegal substances
In the event that the teenager begins to be frequently involved in brawls or fights, bullying one of his peers, or hanging out in bad company, he may be suffering from a serious underlying problem. Outraged, risky sexual behavior or flirting with alcohol or other drugs are factors to take into account.
9. Leaks and other touches of attention
One of the possible signs of depression is leaving the family home. Sometimes, it may be an adolescent defense mechanism, which seeks the attention of parents.
10. Thoughts and thoughts of suicide
It is an unequivocal sign that the teenager is suffering from a serious mental health problem. ** Such recurring thoughts about death are verbalized with phrases like “I don’t want to go on living” **. In more advanced cases, the adolescent may self-harm or attempt to commit suicide.
Five tips for dealing with depression
Now that we know the different signs we can see in a teenager with this disorder, we will explain how we should act (as parents, friends or family) in case a young person in our immediate environment might be suffering from depression.
1. Talk to him
The first step we can take to find out why the teen is behaving strangely is talk to him to try to find out the causes. In fact, there are symptoms that can occur but which may not involve an underlying disorder.
In any case, it is important to talk to the teenager to see if he is aware that his behavior has changed and to contact him if he asks us for help. If suicidal thoughts are obvious, it is a good idea not to approach this problem as a taboo. The family, in such cases, can play a vital role in coming together to help the adolescent feel better..
2. Go to the doctor
Don’t be afraid to go see the GP. If the symptoms that the teenager shows are more and more worrying and complicated to manage, it is necessary to turn to a specialist in such cases, for example a psychotherapist. The mental health professional will be able to provide a reliable diagnosis of each case and develop treatment if necessary, In addition to guiding parents in handling the situation.
3. Psychological therapy better than drugs
We live in a society that tends to cure everything with drugs. sometimes drug treatment is necessary, and in the case of depressive disorders there are antidepressant drugs which can be very helpful.
Anyway, ideally, the young person should learn to manage his emotions and to channel his motivation correctly, And a pill can’t do that. In case of mild depression (eg in pictures of dysthymia) pharmacological treatment is not necessary. Real healing is finding a way to express feelings and emotions, which is easier to achieve with the therapeutic support of doctors and psychologists.
Educational psychologists can also be very helpful in detecting and treating such cases. They can play a decisive role in making adolescents realize that their situation can and must change. Furthermorewhere professionals with the ability to adapt the school environment as much as possible to the needs of a student with this disorder.
4. Change habits and routines
Adolescents with Depression they usually have very altered sleep schedules and are apathetic to sleeping activities. routine. For this reason, it is advisable to help them develop a well-planned, not very strict but ambitious schedule, in which for example we set a time to go to bed and various activities that the young person feels motivated to perform on a daily basis. .
Being able to share time and space with supportive people can be a dose of positivity.
5. Play sports, the oldest therapy
Exercise is very positive for no one, but especially for a young person suffering from depression. Finding an activity that matches the characteristics and needs of the young person can be a fantastic way to channel stress and anxiety, in addition to a source of good feelings to minimize your negative emotions.
If this activity is done in a group and outside, the positive effects can be even better.
- You can check it out by reading this article: “The 10 Psychological Benefits of Exercise”