A teenager living with depression can be mistaken as just moody, having trouble with school, or just going through puberty related emotions. However, in some cases, these changes in behavior can be signs of depression. Depression is a serious mental health problem that must be treated. Here is some more information about teenagers living with depression:
- Depression is not moodiness: Unpredictable teens are common. Therefore, simple moodiness does not mean depression. Instead it is severe changes in your child’s behavior that could be an indication. Your child may experience changes in their appetite and sleep. Poor school performance, the inability to concentrate, and the lack of interest in usual activities could all be signs of depression as well. If these changes last more than two to three weeks, you should pay particular attention to your child and speak with a doctor.
- Depression doesn’t have a particular look: Society tends to create stereotypes around people with certain mental illnesses. Teens with depression are not always troublemakers, nerds, artsy or loners. Depression does not discriminate.
- Not only depression: Teens rarely solely struggle with depression. There is usually more to it. Anxietycan co-occur with depression. In fact, several teens due to the pressures of school, sports, and social events, deal with anxiety which can lead to depression. In other cases where depression is the primary condition, other disorders can exist such as learning difficulties.
- It is treatable: Even though many people think that depression is difficult to treat, it is treatable in teens. Treatments such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can treat mild to moderate depression. Patients may see relief with this treatment between four to six weeks. Antidepressants can also be effective. If the medication is helping, it should be taken for a year, however, it does depend on the severity of the depression.
Most importantly, to help your child with their depression, it is best that you help them to become empowered by working with them so they understand that they don’t have to feel this way, and that they can overcome their depression.
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