What Does Depression Look Like in Teens?

 In Mental Health

We all feel depressed occasionally, but usually, these feelings go away soon enough, leaving us in a happier mood. But for some people, depression can be ongoing, lasting for weeks or even months. When this occurs, the person is best off reaching out for help. 

Depression can happen to people of any age, and that includes teens. When teens get depressed, it’s unfortunate. After all, no one that young should have to be dealing with so much pain. Fortunately, help is available. 

This article will answer the question, what does depression look like in teens so you can determine if your child needs assistance. 


What is Depression? 

Depression is characterized by long periods of sadness and withdrawal from the things you love. To be considered clinically depressed, you must experience symptoms for at least two weeks. Here’s what depression can look like.  

  • Feeling of sadness
  • A lack of interest in the things you once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in sleep habits
  • Loss of energy 
  • Slowed movement or speech
  • Restlessness
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Suicidal thoughts


What Causes Depression?

There are several factors that can contribute to being depressed. These are as follows:

  • Biochemistry: Depression can be caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain.  
  • Genetics: If you have a close relative that is depressed, you will be more likely to be depressed as well. 
  • Personality: People with low self-esteem and those that are pessimistic or easily overcome by stress are more likely to be depressed. 
  • Environment: Individuals that were raised or live in an environment where they are exposed to neglect or poverty are more vulnerable to depression. 


How is Depression in Teens Different? 

Depression in teens can differ from depression in adults. Here is an idea of what depression looks like in teens.  

  • Irritability: While adults who deal with depression may be sad, teens tend to be irritable. They may be disrespectful to others and have less patience than usual. 
  • Declining Grades: In some cases, a depressed teen may let their schoolwork go and end up with poor grades. However, this is not always the case. 
  • Sensitivity to Criticism: It’s not unusual for teens to be sensitive to criticism, but some may take it to an extreme. A teen who is depressed may react by staying away from activities where they think they may be criticized. Others may become overachievers and aspire to perfectionism, thinking it will reduce the risk of them being criticized. 
  • Social Withdrawal: Depressed teenagers will withdraw socially but typically not to as much of an extent as a depressed adult would. Instead of withdrawing entirely, they may change peer groups, or they may become active on the internet instead of being social in the outside world. 


Depression and Addiction in Teens

It’s not unusual for people that are depressed to turn to drugs and alcohol. They may not want to admit they have a problem. In other instances, they may not feel their problem is that bad or may not have the time and money to deal with it. 

Instead of getting help for their symptoms, they suppress feelings with drugs and alcohol. This takes them on a downward spiral as they will now have even more issues to deal with. 

Addiction can be especially dangerous in teens. They are at an age when peer pressure can make them experiment with drugs, and if they find they temporarily relieve feelings of depression, a habit can form. 

Fortunately, there are rehab facilities targeted explicitly to help teens. The Adolescent Wellness Academy is one you can turn to. 

The Adolescent Wellness Academy serves various communities near the Davie, FL area. Our program is tailored to teens. We follow a 5-step process to identify symptoms, diagnose patients and treat issues at their core. 

Our sessions take place after school, and we even offer transportation to and from our clinic. 

Depression is difficult to deal with, especially for a teen. If your child is showing signs of depression, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Adolescent Wellness Academy will provide you with the assistance you need. Call us today to keep your teen on a path for wellness and happiness.

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