Recognizing teenage depression can be easy, difficult and everything in between.
There are many teenagers that suffer from some type of teenage clinical depression but they are not getting treated.
Instead they live their lives with depressive disorders and go through great hardships together with their family.
Teenage depression as any other depression can be "obvious", "masked" and "hidden". "Obvious" teenage depression is easy to recognize however this is not the case with "masked" or "hidden" depression.
For recognizing teenage depression an important thing is to know what the symptoms of teenage depression are. Symptoms can be divided in four groups: physical, behavioral, emotional and cognitive; however this categorization is not important for this subject. Instead, when talking about recognizing teenage depression, we will categorize symptoms in three groups: obvious, masked and hidden.
"Obvious" symptoms of teenage depression:
· Hopelessness: Hopelessness is the trademark of depression and if someone is hopeless he or she is most definitely depressed. A person can be hopeless for many reasons but if the state of hopelessness persists for more that two weeks an individual should be examined by a health professional.
· Worthlessness: This is another definitive sign of depression.
· Persistent Sadness
· Thoughts about Death or Suicide
· Constant Negative Thinking
· Guilt feelings (Excessive self-criticism) Sometimes teenagers blame themselves for their parent’s divorce or even death where in reality they had nothing to do with it.
Recognizing teenage depression when symptoms of depression are obvious is not a problem. However the problems with recognizing teenage depression start with masked symptoms of depression. In this case symptoms are masked with some other type of behavior which is opposite to what is generally believed to be depressive behavior.
Masked symptoms of teenage depression:
· Overachievements: Your teenager works very hard, all the time and has no friends. The academic and other results are great however he or she never takes a break to enjoy those very results.
· Aggression: "He is a great kid, even though he has short fuse and gets very aggressive sometimes". Aggression in any form is a sign that something is wrong and that changes need to be made. It is misbelieved that it is normal for teenage boys to be aggressive. There is nothing good in being aggressive.
· Alcohol or Drug Problems: Many teenagers experiment with alcohol, however it is one thing is to experiment and another to consume alcohol regularly. Teenagers that have alcohol problems usually suffer from some type of clinical depression.
· Feeling "lost" (This kind of feeling is very common in teenagers especially in those that are depressed.
Feeling lost means not knowing where they belong which makes them an easy target for many kinds of bad influences.)
Sometimes at first glance some positive behavior can be indeed very destructive and indicate depression.
Also as you can see problematic behavior always has its roots. Unfortunately this type of teenage behavior is usually sanctioned by parents and teachers in the wrong way; the way that makes teenagers even more rebellious and persistent in their destructive behavior which deepens and prolongs their depression.
All this is done because parents and teacher are not able to recognize teenage depression, when symptoms of depression are masked. Parents and teachers should not be blamed for this because recognizing teenage depression can be very difficult for nonprofessional individuals.
Recognizing teenage depression is most difficult in case of "hidden" depression. The good new is that depression can be hidden only in case of mild depression however the bad news is that mild depression can progress into moderate or even severe depression. This is why it is important to be able to recognize "hidden" symptoms of depression.
"Hidden" symptoms of teenage depression:
· Feeling unappreciated: A teenager is often praising her or himself and at the same time complaining that nobody cares about her or his achievements.
· Unexplained Chronic Pain
· Feeling ugly: Depressed teenagers often feel bad about their physical look and are prone to complain about it.
· Difficulty Concentrating
All symptoms of teenage depression that are numbered on this page are actually very common symptoms of depression. However, even though for a psychologist it may be easy to recognize these symptoms of depression, for common people recognizing teenage depression can be very difficult.
When learning about symptoms of teenage depression you are improving your chances of recognizing teenage depression. Don’t be one of those parents that only watch their depressed children.
Be a parent that helps her or his depressed child get better. And the best way for any depressed individual to get better is to have the appropriate treatment.