Decoding the Signs of Depression in teens

Signs of Depression in teens

During the transition period from childhood to adulthood, teenagers have to go through a lot of changes. During the teenage years, a lot of changes occur that are both physical, psychological, and emotional. While physical changes are quite obvious, the psychological and emotional phases are when a child’s mindset is delicate and fragile.

While it is widespread for adults to seek help for depression, depression in teens still seems often misunderstood and neglected.

What is Depression?

Depression is a complex mood disorder characterized by a persistent state of sadness, hopelessness, fatigue, a sense of worthlessness, and irritability. It affects a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being, disrupting their personal and professional lives.

Depression is probably the most used and overgeneralized term nowadays, thanks to misinformation and a lack of awareness! Everyone gets sad, frustrated, or hopeless every other day. Depression is not our common everyday sadness; it is a serious mental condition that can wreak havoc in a person’s life if left unchecked. There are three forms of depression: mild, moderate, and severe.

There are characteristic symptoms and signs for the diagnosis of depression that are used to categorize and differentiate ‘depression’ from sadness’. Signs and symptoms are almost used interchangeably, but with depression, both terms differ in meaning.

Depression in teens

Puberty brings about a lot of changes in a teenager’s body.

The hormonal and psychological changes affect a person’s mood a lot; they disrupt the emotional cycle. Apart from this, the sudden changes occurring in the surrounding area can be difficult for teenagers. The disruptive mood fluctuates because hormonal changes can often challenge if not taken care of. Teenage depression is one such challenging problem.

What are the signs of Depression in teens?

The teenage years can be so tough for parents and teenagers. Teen depression can be tough for the child and also be difficult to spot despite showing clear signs.

It is because, most often during the teenage years, anger and outbursts are normal and are often dismissed as normal. However, looking for obvious signs and changes in teenagers is necessary for spotting signs of depression in teens.

This applies to both children and parents, as well as adults, such as friends, families, and teachers.

The outlook of hopelessness

The first and probably foremost sign that can be inferred from depression is the outlook of hopelessness in a person. It is something that can be easily observed and noticed in the everyday life of a person—being hopeless!

Although hopelessness could be caused by loads of other factors, the hopelessness with depression sinks firmly into the appearance of the person. 

Loss of interest and social isolation

Depression in teens affects them in such a way that it takes away the joy from their lives. Activities previously enjoyed by them may no longer interest them or make them happy. As a result, they become more drawn out and further isolated because of their constant inability to take part in activities. 

Fatigue and sleeping problems 

In cases of teen depression, a person withdraws from activities and shows a lack of energy for Anthony. It is one sign of depression in teens that is observed because, during this age, a child has a lot of energy and is trying out new things in life.

The constant fatigue might cause them to sleep excessively even during the day, hence disrupting their sleeping pattern. Over time, this can lead to conditions like insomnia, where a person cannot fall or stay asleep. Disrupted sleep could also lead to anxiety caused by restlessness because of a lack of proper sleep.

Depression and anxiety

With depression, anxiety often comes together; either depression or vice versa follows the anxiety; sometimes they both exist together. Anxiety is a common condition characterized by worry and uneasiness in a person.

In cases of depression in teens, anxiety is also normal, as during adolescence, a lot of personality development takes place. It’s a normal occurrence in everyday life, and because of depression, anxiety often becomes a drastically worsening condition.


Adolescent children are prone to showing anger and occasional outbursts. Agitation, acting out, and irritability can be common signs of depression in teens. Along with this, engaging in risky behaviors is also common, especially in boys.

Body aches

Teenagers often complain about having unexplained body aches and headaches during depression. The reason behind the aches is usually none, but there is one major signs of depression in teens that differs from adults.

Suicidal thoughts and attempts

Having suicidal thighs and images of self-harm such as cutting and burning is a common signs of depression in teens. They often want to make plans about suicidal attempts and are not as good at hiding them as adults do. So always look out for signs; even a simple behavior change could make a difference.

How can depression in teens be treated?

Open communication

This goes for both parents and children, especially for the parents to always have an open communion with their child. Ask about their life, their day at school, or their friends, and try to engage in friendly conversation.Look for signs of depression in teens in their behavior.

Formally engaging with them makes them aware about the importance of mental well-being. 

Getting help!

Several times a child cannot get help from their parents for reasons such as lack of trust, abuse from the parents, etc. Various suicide prevention hotline for teens is available across nations to help teenagers and guide their ability to cope with their condition. Anyone can get help online, or use these depression hotlines for teens too.

If anyone suspects a teenager is showing signs of suicide, they can reach out to this number: 988-Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in the US.

For people outside the US, visit IASP or the website for more information.

Limit screen time!

Today, technology and social media surround us are one of the major distractions that are filled with things that a child could trigger. On social media, there are various ways a teenager can get influenced by acts of violence or simply be a victim of cyberbullying or harassment.

Always let your child use phones and the internet within a set time limit and monitor their activities for their safety.

Seek professional help!

Seek help early from professional help as soon as possible. Depression can be treated with professional help through therapies, meditation, and guided lifestyle changes that can build a healthy life for teenagers.

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