Sings of Depression in Teenagers: And How to Deal with Them

Sings of Depression in Teenagers: And How to Deal with Them


Depression in teens can be a result of number of reasons including inability to cope, confusion, bullying, and even due to a temporary feeling of sadness. Sometimes feelings of depression can also be caused by some disorder which the teen might not be aware of.

Whatever might be the reason, it is essential for both the parents and caregivers to take notice of depression sings in teens to better assess their behaviour and seek appropriate help. Being able to take notice of such things at an early stage makes all the difference and may even prevent further harm and damage to themselves and others. Here is how to look for signs of depression in teenagers and how parents can deal with them.

Emotional Signs

Most of the teenagers who are depressed do not want to share their feelings with others and want to be themselves most of the time. However, their behaviour at home and with friends speaks about itself and parents can see the signs clearly once they get them to talk. Some of the common signs of depression include:

  • Feeling lonely and sad and even crying for no reason at all
  • Feeling irritated and annoyed all the time and talking about hopelessness
  • Getting angry and frustrated even over small issues
  • Lack of interest in everyday activities and frequent conflicts with friends and family members
  • Feeling of guilt, worthlessness and showing very low self-esteem
  • Self-criticism, self-blame and talking frequently about past failures
  • Becoming very sensitive, being afraid of failure and showing rejection
  • Trouble in concentrating, making decisions and seeking too much reassurance from parents and friends

Behavioural Changes

Together with some or all of the sings above, depressed teens also reflect a lot of changes on how they behave with others and are always tired and are not much energetic as they used to be earlier. Sudden weight loss or weigh gain, decreased appetite and increased cravings for food are also signs of depression that shouldn’t be ignored. Social isolation, giving in for alcohol and drug addiction, neglecting their appearance and frequently complaining about others are also important signs of depression.

Look for Sings and Triggers

While there are a number of reasons for their depression, considering why they are depressed is as important in finding the right treatment and counselling. A recent death in the family, divorced parents and breaking up with girlfriend and boyfriend may also be the reasons behind their moody behaviour. Genetic factors like family history of depression, bipolar disorder may also be the possible reasons and cannot be ignored. If left untreated, these feelings may further lead to harming others or even self harm including suicide.

How to Help Depressed Teens

Parents and caregivers should first talk to the teen about their feelings and know why they are behaving the way they are. Once you talk with them, you can assess whether they can come out of the situation by themselves or maybe you should intervene for helping them. In worst case, parents may also seek professional guidance. As most of the depressed persons think of themselves as failures, or bad people or even losers; they’ll further move on to harm themselves or alienate if you don’t ask them. The best parenting advice is to talk with them as early as you notice any signs.

Listen To What They Say

Once you sit down to talk, you shouldn’t be surprised that they’ll do all the talking. Let them communicate and express their feelings without interrupting. Use supportive words and give assurance that you are always there to take care of them. Acknowledge their feelings and never try to prove them wrong or that it’s all about the way they think. This might make them further depressed.

Encourage Social Connections

Once they begin to talk and want to seek advice. Just don’t jump into a meeting with a counsellor or a psychiatrist or other doctor. First try to get them social by planning a family get together event or tell them to call their friends for a treat. Social activities with friends and family help a lot in making them talk and get out of their loneliness. As bad physical activities like long sleep hours, inactivity and poor eating habits can further the damage; get them involved in exercising or walking or even indulging in daily house chores like gardening and cooking or just being a helping hand.

Focus on things that you can do together with the teen like running or swimming. If they are spending more time on electronic devices, suggest them to interact more with family members or just help a younger sibling with their homework. While most of these activities may seem simple, they go a long way in helping the teens in coming out of their cocoons.