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Is it teen depression or just the 'blues'?

Teenage Depression

Research shows that about 70% of the teenagers are taken into the grip of depression even before they reach adulthood and 20-25% of them become prone to depression a year before they reach their adulthood. The figures aren’t too scary but its on the part of the parents and teacher to notice the behavior of the teenager. Depression at such a young age is a serious matter of concern and should not be avoided at any stage. The pressure from the society contributes more to this teen depression. So its the duty of elders to work in this regard. Before the things start to worsen, the parents should come into action.

“Teenage angst” in the teens is on a boom as they suffer from anxiety and insecurities. Thanks to Television shows that showcase a teenager in a gloomy look and doing absolutely no work. But we need to make the teen realize that this is not at all a normal life. Here parents come into role and they should sort it out with their young child. The channel of communication should be kept open. Read on to know all about teen’s depression and the ways to combat it.

Is it Depression or “Just the Blues”?

Sadness and happiness are the two aspects of life. Being happy doesn’t mean everything. Only when you are sad, you realize the actual meaning of happiness. And sadness brings in depression, so it is the commonest symptom of depression. We all feel gloomy no matter what our age is, so is with teenagers. Sadness is an emotion when we feel low because of failing in an exam or having a break up with girlfriend or boyfriend. And this sadness keeps on growing causing misery, loss and grief. This phase is not permanent and cannot be regarded as “Depression”. However, if the situation prevails for more than two weeks, it could be depression.

Symptoms of Teen Depression

The symptoms aren’t same but differ from individual to individual. The signs of depression are irritability, change in weight and eating and sleeping habits, fatigue, hopelessness, self-hatred and thoughts of death and suicide. They might also suffer from frequent headaches or may cry easily at small things.

The most common symptom of depression is the teenager walking away from his friends and family. If this is the case then you can easily make out that something is fishy for sure. A sudden decline in the academic performance of the child is also a sign as the level of concentration goes down. Depression carries a sense of negativity and this is true. The child is entrapped by all bad feelings and does not feel happiness. You should talk to your teen about his problems if these indications are reflected in his behavior.

Causes of Teen depression

As the child matures, the stress levels also increase. This pressure is exerted by the society and the parents too. The hormonal changes occur as the child advances in the age and he becomes rash in his behavior. He often has frequent conflicts with his parents and he finds a way to acquire freedom. And this introduces sadness and depression in his life. Many a times, stressful events take place and he is engulfed by grief and sadness leading to consequent depression. At such a young age, the child cannot handle such pressures and he frequently loses self-confidence and hopes to rise against the odds. Reasons are many that can contribute to depression.

Illness, brain injury and chemical imbalances in the brain are also a way to depression. You might observe frequent and sudden changes in the behavior of the child. One day he might be really happy as if he is on cloud nine and the next day he might be really sad and craving for little things. This is something that should gain attention of the parents. The fight against depression is not so tough but the actions and plans need to initiated and handled diligently so that no chance for mistake is left.

Depression Prevention

Combating teenage depression is not very easy but you should take care that the child doesn’t get addicted to alcohol and drugs as these never help in any way. Push your child to develop a positive mind set-up and make good friends for a safer company. The best step in this situation is dependent on the parents; they should observe the behavior of their child right from the beginning. Do not talk about the depression problem but talk about those things that can bring a smile on your child’s face. Ask whatever is going on around him/her. A proper and balanced diet is a great support in case of depression. Motivate your young child to have meals three times a day and make sure that you keep a record of his diet chart. Not having meals on time or skipping the meal leads to a great deal of decrement in the body sugar levels and this does affect the mood leading to agitation and then depression. Serve him the dishes that he likes as this would help.

Let your child engage in some activity to keep his mind busy. If you feel the situation moving out of your hand, do not feel helpless rather consult a doctor at the earliest. Right treatment at the right time can help you and your child to combat depression which had been a constant threat to his health and mental status. For each one of us, both the mental and physical health of our child is of prime focus and that’s why we should keep our eyes open at all times so that we can avoid the serious issue of depression at an extreme end.

Dr Prem Jagyasi

Dr Prem Jagyasi

Author, Chartered Consultant, Personal Branding Expert & Global Trainer at DrPrem.com
Author of several life improving guide books – Dr Prem is an award winning strategic global leader, successful chartered consultant, personal branding expert and global trainer.  Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries to work with above 150 international organisations and to speak in global conferences. Dr Prem has published several guide books and numerous niche websites which have millions of reader across the globe.
Dr Prem Jagyasi
Dr Prem Jagyasi
Life Improving Guide