That teen depression has been on the increase is an indisputable fact. According to a survey, about 11% of adolescents are affected by teen depression. But the unfortunate fact is that only 20 to 30% of these young people get the attention, treatment and care they deserve. It is therefore the primary duty of parents as well as teachers to acquire as much knowledge as possible about this problem because only then, they will be able to take timely action. Very importantly, they should know the warning signs of teen depression.
Experts have come out with some practical suggestions that may help people identify the problem of teen depression in adolescents. Simply put, these suggestions may help parents or teachers know the warning signs that differentiate the affected teens from the normal ones.
This is a general sign but there are chances parents or teachers may confuse this with normal moodiness. Further, young people who have been affected by depression may be irritable and lethargic. But nowadays, most of the young people are irritable and lethargic and this is what makes things more difficult. Even experts agree that it may be difficult to differentiate between the usual moodiness of teens and the moodiness caused by depression. If parents or teachers find that the children are moody for prolonged periods, they should immediately pay attention to other aspects for confirming if the children are having the problem of teen depression.
Experts categorically say that there may be serious sleep disturbances in teens who have been affected by depression. They may not be able to sleep properly and so, they may be affected by a number of other physical ailments. Lack of sleep may lead to irritability, indigestion, hormonal imbalances and so on. In certain cases, young children who have been affected by teen depression may over-sleep also. They may be so lethargic that they may be reluctant to get out of their bed. Though teenage is a phase when young children want to have a lot of social connections, children who have been affected by teen depression may not like to connect with others. They may not involve themselves in any of the teenage activities like playing, chit-chatting and so on. They may like to remain like recluses.
Some of the affected teens may complain of headaches, stomach aches, body aches, etc. They may feel tired and weak and so, they may like to confine themselves to their bed.
This is becoming a major problem. Children with teen depression become addicted to alcohol or some of them take to the habit of drug abuse. These habits can cause great harm to their health as well as reputation. These habits may worsen their depression problem also.
In extreme cases, teens affected by depression may have suicidal thoughts. They may discuss death or suicide frequently. These talks should not be taken lightly. Parents should take immediate steps for seeking professional help for preventing such things from happening. A study says that suicidal thoughts are more prevalent among those depressed children who have taken to the habit of substance abuse.
Experts advise that as soon as parents or teachers find these signs in teens, they should closely watch them so as to find out if the symptoms last for prolonged periods. They should also find out if these symptoms affect their normal living, their education and other activities. Such close monitoring will help them take appropriate action on time.