Before looking at signs of teen depression, we need to understand what normal teen moodiness may look like. The following teen behaviors are completely normal: Moodiness, emotionality, focused on self, opinionated, some rebelliousness, limit testing, pushing for independence, less affection, struggling with identity, questioning beliefs, and seeming to “know it all.” These behaviors are healthy and evidence of the individuation process starting. Parents should be glad to see its arrival. Sure, it’s not always easy, but remember –it’s only a phase. It is helpful to understand it, allow it, and roll with the “fresh air” that blows through during these fun-filled years.
The following behaviors are signs of depression in teens: Poor school performance, low self-worth, withdrawing from family, Irritability and hostility, loss of appetite or not eating, low energy, hopelessness, any suicidal comments or threats and self-harm behaviors. The most visible signs to look for are withdrawing from family and friends. Your child should come out of their room and interact with the family regularly. Teens should be hanging out with friends 2-3 times per week. Much less than this is cause for concern.
Take signs of depression seriously. Work on your relationship with your teen – spend time with them and mostly listen. Remember, parents truly have the most influence in their teen’s life. Come learn more of what you can do as a parent. 801-642-4196