Depression is something that no parent ever wants their child to experience. However, depression is common among teenagers and young adults. Fears teens face or the many teenage problems parents don’t know about may be why they feel this way. That said, teens can be moody so you don’t always know what’s regular teen angst and what’s a real problem. If you are unsure, here are some signs that may indicate your teenager is depressed.
1. They Believe Life Is Meaningless.
They may express this to you verbally, or they may just give-off a general attitude that reflects this belief. Ask them about the programs they’re watching, and look at any class writings or reports to see if that reflects this sensibility.
2. Significant Weight Gain or Weight Loss
Sometimes, when teenagers are depressed, they will try to cope by eating excessively or eating significantly less food. If you notice that your teen is gaining or losing a lot of weight, it may or may not be a sign of depression, but it’s definitely worth having a conversation.
3. A Sharp Drop in School Performance
If your child used to be a straight-A student, and suddenly starts failing classes, or even getting C’s and D’s, this could be a sign that your teenager is depressed. Depression can cause apathy towards things like school or extracurricular activities, and it can make your child feel less motivated to work hard and get good grades.
4. Suicidal Thoughts
Hopefully, your child is not having any suicidal thoughts. However, if he or she is, it could definitely mean that they are depressed. Like self-harm, suicidal thoughts need to be taken very seriously.
5. Hurting Themselves
Things like cutting or burning can all be signs that your child is depressed. If you see any self-inflicted cuts on your child’s body — or severe piercings you didn’t know about or discuss with them –then
6. Neglecting Personal Hygiene
It’s not healthy for teens to stop showering regularly or neglect other normal grooming.
7. Social Isolation
Has your teen suddenly stopped hanging out with his or her friends and started spending more and more time alone? If so, find out if it’s due to cyberbullying or social media pressures. Asking will often get you the answers. If it’s not those things, then it could be a sign your teenager is depressed on some level.
8. Changes in Sleep Patterns
Sleep is a tough area because there are a lot of reasons why a child’s sleep changes. Depression could be one reason, but it could be other things. They have stress-related insomnia and are staying awake through the night, or they could be staying up on social media or playing games all night. A conversation will give you some further insight.
9. Substance Abuse
Substance abuse would involve your teen suddenly starting to consume large amounts of alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs. Oftentimes, if a teen starts abusing drugs heavily, it is because they are trying to cover up some sort of negative emotional state, and self-medicate the pain of depression. Understanding the reasons why a teenager takes drugs is helpful.