Parents and guardians must treat teen depression as an alarm signal when they find that their child’s personality and sense of self is being negatively influenced by angst, sadness and despair. Ideally a teen should be able to feel confident and balanced even when there are some slightly stressful or difficult situations at home, school or anywhere outside. When they seem to have given up on handling some situations, parents should check if the teen is showing signs of teen depression. If left unchecked or untreated it could lead several personality disorders and mental disorders. In severe cases, suicides may occur.
How teen depression can affect a child’s life and its functioning:
Low self esteem
This is the most common and predictable effect of teen depressionand often the reason for other problems that arise due to depression.
This happens mainly because of the projections on part of the depressed child. In a depressed state the child will lose discrimination of recognizing harmony and happiness in friendships often because of lack of self esteem
Difficulty in school or studies
Depression leads to lack of concentration and can also dampen the drive to achieve success in academics and sports activities.
Addictive behavior does not necessarily mean smoking and drinking. It could be any compulsive habit that will have harmful effect. Chronic worrying can also be termed as addictive behavior. Finding solace in the virtual world of internet is today’s most common addictive behavior that is going unchecked because nearly everybody wants to run away from their problems and internet is the safest place for them.
This is one of the most harmful addiction that needs rehabilitation and can have dangerous effects on physical, mental, and emotional well being.
Abusing alcohol can have serious health effects when not stopped in the nick of time.
Smoking, drinking alcohol and doing drugs also render the addict broke.
Unsafe sex leading to pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, reckless drinking and speedy driving are some high risk behavior exhibited when in deep depression.
Running away from home
When a depressed teen feels misunderstood and isolated or when he/she needs emotional support, he/she often runs away from home believing it as the only choice or solution for the situation.
This happens often to teens who are doing drugs and abusing alcohol. But sometimes, it can happen when there is a lot of suppressed angst and hurt. This kind of symptom required emergency attention.
Often suicidal symptoms are shown as follows:
- Lack of clarity in thinking
- Mentioning suicide as a joke or just as a part of the conversation.
- Feeling detached about their belongings and even giving them away.
- Researching about the methods of suicide on internet.
- Having access to pills or a weapon to commit suicide.
- Isolating from family members and friends.
A child showing the above symptoms should not be labeled as an attention seeker or tantrum thrower. Instead the parents or the guardian should take steps to alleviate the symptoms by seeking appropriate help.
So, teen depression must be kept in check and healed thoroughly to avoid tragic situations that are often irreversible.