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Understanding Teenage Depression: Why It Isn’t Just About Being ‘Sad’

Once upon a time, the medical community thought that depression only affected adults. However, they, later on, discovered that depression can occur in children and that teens are among those people who are most prone to developing it. Depression is more than just a phase and it is a real condition that can interfere with daily life, although it is very often ignored. Here are some things you should be aware of if you have a teen.

What is Depression?

Everyone feels down or sad once in a while. Depression, however, is more than just that. It is the feeling of sadness, despair, and hopelessness that just does not go away. Someone who has depression can have the feeling for months, weeks, and even years and this can greatly impair a person’s capacity to participate in day to day activities.

Depressed people see the world in a negative light. They are usually very critical of themselves and feel worthless and unloved. They can feel overwhelmed by seemingly small problems. This is also why their condition is often dismissed as something minor. They can pull away from people and activities and give up on a lot of things, but this can make their condition even worse.

[su_quote cite=”Avijeet Das” class=”cust-pagination”]“Depression is real. It happens. We go through it. Hold onto yourself in those moments.”[/su_quote]

What Causes Depression in Teens?

Growing up has its own set of tough challenges and a lot of teens are ill equipped to face these head on. They can get frustrated and feel powerless and hopeless to rise above the situations. When left that way, these can stick with them until they reach adulthood.

In some cases, even teens who do not face the usual challenges can get depressed. A tendency towards getting depressed can also be inherited. The largest catalysts for depression could be a stressful home environment, poverty, violence, frustration and more. This is worsened by hormonal changes that occur throughout puberty where moods might not be as stable as they are supposed to be.

What are Some Signs and Symptoms of Depression?

Unlike adults who can seek help on their own, teenagers often rely on people they can trust. These can be teachers, parents or other authority figures who they feel like they can open up to. Many will dismiss teenage depression as something minor, so they will find it hard to look for someone who acknowledges their pain. If there is an adolescent in your household, it is important to learn and understand what he or she might be going through, no matter how minor his or her issue may look like to you.

The most visible signs of depression would be withdrawal from friends and family. Depressed teens feel very sad and are very irritable, hostile, or angry. They lose interest in things that they are usually passionate about and some of them cry when they are alone. This can also cause changes in eating habits, difficulty concentrating and, worse, suicidal thoughts.

How to Deal with Teenage Depression

There are a lot of ways that depressed teens can cope with their condition. While this can be tough, depression is the most common mental health issue. If they try, they might be able to reverse the condition themselves.

Some suggestions would be to develop new healthy relationships, participate in sports or hobby groups, join programs that are engaging for young people, or have an adult who understands and just listens. Sometimes, however, despite everyone’s best effort, the condition might still not go away.

Getting Professional Health

Depression can be tough, but there is hope. It is not only the most common mental condition, it is also one of the most treatable. Unfortunately, some young people do not accept their state and adults around them deny the condition as well.

If you suspect that your teen suffers from depression, seek professional help and look for someone who can deal with teens. Get a different counselor if the teen does not feel comfortable.

Depression can be tough to deal with, but just like any other challenge, teens can overcome it. Do you know anyone who has been depressed? Do you know the best way to deal with depressed teens? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.

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