Apparently, depression in teenagers is often overlooked. Sometimes, changes in behavior and unstable moods are considered normal in their adulthood. Therefore, it is very important for parents to recognize the causes and symptoms of depression in teenagers so that they will be able to detect this condition as early as possible.
Usually, teenagers often experience mood swings. That’s why teenagers who look moody or sad are often considered normal, for example because of heartbreak, getting bad grades, being a victim of online catfishing, or feeling less attention from parents.
In fact, it could be a symptom of depression in teenagers. If left untreated, this condition can progress and lead to self-harm, even suicide.
Trigger Factors and Symptoms of Depression in Teenagers
Based on the research, depression in teenagers can be caused by genetic factors, hormonal changes, and traumatic experiences, such as being sexually and emotionally abused or losing a loved one. Aside from that, depression in teenagers can also be triggered by other factors, such as low self-esteem, alcohol and drug abuse, ADHD, suffering from chronic illnesses, and having other mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder, anorexia, or bulimia.
Usually, depression in teenagers causes complaints and symptoms such as:
- Crying easily, taking offense and getting angry over simple things.
- Losing interest in doing daily activities.
- Difficulty concentrating, often skipped classes, and decreased performance at school.
- Sleeplessness and insomnia.
- Feeling tired easily.
- Frequent headaches or stomachaches.
- No appetite or overeating.
Because teenagers often experience mood changes, depression in teenagers is more difficult to detect. Thus, parents, families, and teachers at school must be more sensitive to changes in teenagers’ behavior.
The Role of Parents in Overcoming Depression in Teenagers
If an adolescent is diagnosed with depression, then the doctor will give them treatment in the form of psychotherapy and medications, such as antidepressants. During the treatment, parents need to do the following to help their teen recover from depression:
1. Learn about depression
It is important for parents to learn everything related to depression, such as how to deal with it and how to communicate with people with depression. By knowing information about depression, parents will be able to better understand what your teen is actually experiencing and feeling.
2. Listen to children’s stories
As parents, you must be ready to listen to all the complaints of your teen. Look into your teen’s eyes or hold your teen’s hand tightly when he/she talks so that he/she feels more comfortable. If your teen is not used to telling stories, you can ask questions to get your teen to tell his/her stories. For example, “What are you feeling today? Let’s talk to Mommy.” Remember, when your teen tells his/her story, don’t judge or seem to interrogate your teen.
3. Encourage a healthy lifestyle
Remind your teen to exercise regularly to improve their mood. Also, make sure he/she eats healthy food and gets enough sleep every day.
4. Limit the use of gadgets
You must set a time limit on the use of gadgets to your teen. Encourage your teen to do positive activities and hang out with good people.
As parents, you need to be more observant of the changes that your teen is experiencing. If your teen has shown symptoms of depression, you should immediately take your teen to a psychologist or psychiatrist to get further treatment.