Teen depression is on the rise in the United States. If a teen becomes depressed, immaturity and high hormone levels can contribute to produce severe symptoms.
Besides understanding the general Depression Symptoms, it is good to bear in mind that teenage depression is often marked by an irritable rather than a down in mood.
A drop in grades or problems getting along with peers or teachers can be indications of depression in children and teens. as well as grumpiness, tantrums, irritability. Teens may sleep more.
Other mental health issues, such as ADHD, and conduct problems often mask depression in children and teens.
Children sometimes manifest physical symptoms such as stomach, headache, etc.
The causes of childhood depression are essentially the same as for adults. For more information see Depression Causes on our Bill Jacobs LPCC web site.
Children generally face much more stressful situations than a decade ago. Teen stress is especially intense. The following considerations may also prove helpful:
Stressors to consider:
- changing schools
- peer problems
- family problems
- loss of a pet
- loss of a loved one
- teen romantic break up
Insecure attachment may also be a factor in depression. Most children who have suffered insecure attachment also have problems regulating their moods and emotions.
We will soon have an entire section on attachment. If you would like to join our mailing list, you will be notified when it is completed.
Children and teens are growing. Their brains are wiring a furious rate. All this growth is orchestrated by hormones, which also affect brain function and mood.
The helps mentioned in Self-Help for Depression may prove helpful. In addition, parents can spend extra time with depressed children and teens, attuning to them and listening.
Proximity and affection also communicate love and support to teens and children. We can recommend books by Ross Campbell, How to really Love your Child and How to Really Love Your Teen, to help parent child relationships.
Make sure your teen or child likes his or her therapist. With young people the relationship is even more critical than with adults. At Bill Jacobs LPCC, we work hard to connect with children.