All teenagers are moody, uncommunicative, and belligerent at times. It’s in their DNA. Mostly, this is due to hormones and the pressure of growing up in an age of social media where kids are judged on everything, from the way they look to how many followers they have on Facebook. Mood changes can also be caused by drug use or even sexual abuse.
The problem is that normal moodiness makes it harder to spot when they are clinically depressed, as opposed to having being miserable because you grounded them. Here are some of the signs to look out for, so you can act quickly if you think your teenager may be in need of depression treatment Los Angeles.
Symptoms of Teenage Depression
Low mood – Often, a perpetual low mood is the main sign there is something wrong. However, some teenagers are very adept at hiding their depression beneath a veil of cheerfulness, so look out for other symptoms.
Irritability – Parents can expect a certain degree of irritability during the teenage years, but if your teenager is becoming increasingly intolerant of others or snaps your head off all the time, they could be struggling.
Disturbed sleep patterns – Depression affects sleep patterns, so staying awake half the night, or sleeping far more than normal, is common when a teenager is depressed. Don’t get angry if your teenager can’t sleep and is then unable to wake up for school. It may not be their fault.
Loss of interest in hobbies –If a teenager stops taking part in sports they used to love, or loses motivation for activities they previously enjoyed, it is a sign they are suffering from depression.
Social isolation – Depressed teenagers often isolate themselves from their peers. They stop going out with friends and spend a lot of time shut up in their bedroom. They may also skip school to avoid seeing people. This type of behavior is also indicative of bulling, online or offline, so try to get your teenager to open up if you notice this behavior.
Weight changes – Depression can lead to eating problems. Many teenagers stop eating or develop eating disorders when they are depressed. Some also comfort eat. Weight gain or weight loss is a sign something is wrong, so be alert to your teenager skipping meals or piling on weight.
Disruptive behavior – A depressed teenager will act out in many ways. They might become disruptive at school or start hanging around with the wrong crowd as a way of making sense of how they are feeling. Don’t read them the riot act. Instead, try talking to their school or ask your doctor for advice.
Treatments for Depression
There are many different treatments for depression, including medications such as SSRIs and transcranial magnetic stimulation from clinics such as Smart Brain and Health. The key is to persuade your teenager to seek help.
If you think your teenager is depressed, try talking to them. Give them options and let them choose where they go for help, as this will give them a greater sense of control over their life.