Teenagers are already going through many hormonal and physical changes that will change their behavior patterns. Seeing the signs of depression in teens is not always easy, but essential to be aware. Mental health illnesses are rising in teenagers, and you might be concerned for your child. Here are a few signs to watch out for in your teens.
A Drop In School Grades Or School Performance
One of the most prominent signs of depression in teenagers is a sudden drop in school grades or their overall academic performance. Depression can cause low energy and can affect your brain's activity. It can cause you to have trouble staying focused and thinking clearly.
Change the energy put into sports and extracurricular activities if your teens' grades drop. It's essential to reach out to your teenager and let them know if you're worried.
Lack Of Interest In Activities
Another sign of depression is a lack of interest in once-loved activities.
Depression can cause a decreased ability to feel emotional pleasure. As a result, it can be nearly impossible to create enjoyment from things you once loved. New items also provide no sense of fun or entertainment, leading to cutting off friends and extra activities at school.
If your teen suddenly drops a prolonged pursued activity with no excuse, it can be a sign that they are struggling mentally. Sometimes your teen may cut off once close friends due to self-isolation. Cutting off loved ones emotionally, dropping activities, or isolating from everyone and everything else can be due to a decline in their mental health. Sometimes it's from losing motivation to do things they once loved, and sometimes it's from feeling they aren't worthy of the happiness that the activities and people give them.
Engaging in High-Risk Behaviors
Participating in high-risk behaviors can be another sign that your teen suffers from depression. High-risk behaviors in teens can include smoking, risky social media use, sexting, and activities that can result in physical injuries.
It may be hard to decipher the difference between normal high-risk behavior in teens and high-risk behavior stemming from depression or other mental health issues. Still, it's essential to know the signs. Don't use just one sign as an immediate diagnosis of depression. Instead, pay attention to your teen and make sure you understand them. You must learn to differentiate between what is normal for them and what seems out of the ordinary.
Getting Too Much or Not Enough Sleep
Another symptom of depression in teens is a change in sleep schedule. Depression can cause you to be constantly tired, which leads to excessive amounts of sleep. However, it can also cause bouts of insomnia, which can lead to not being able to sleep, staying up late, and waking up early. Irregular sleeping patterns are a perfect example that your teen may have mental health struggles.
Rapid Changes in Mood
It's normal to get upset or have other fast mood changes during the teen years. However, it can be hard to decipher the difference between typical teen mood changes and mood changes from a mental health issue. Angry outbursts from little situations can signal your teen is suffering from mental health issues. Outbursts, combined with some other symptoms listed here, are something to watch.
Changes in Eating Habits
A change in eating patterns, such as eating too much or too little, can be another vital sign of depression. Eating changes is one of the signs that you don't want to mention directly to your teen. If your teen is having trouble with their eating habits, then saying it to them could be a catalyst to it becoming worse.
Talk about eating healthier or making good food choices but try not to make them feel insecure about their eating habits, as this will lead to them no longer wanting to eat in front of you. Depression can also cause you to use food for comfort and as a coping mechanism which leads to overeating. It can also cause you to have a low appetite, leading to not eating enough.
Depression can cause multiple kinds of eating disorders, including Anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorders. It's essential to look for signs of these because they have life-threatening effects and some effects that last forever.
Depression can Cause Unexplained Body Aches.
Unexplained headaches and body aches with no specific medical reason are other signs of depression. Body aches are a sign that not many know about, and that is one you need to watch. If your teen has constant headaches or physical pains that aren't related to a medical condition and have no exact source, depression could be the answer. “One study reported by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) and reported on by Healthline.com found that about 11 percent of people with mental health disorders had migraine attacks that preceded them.”
It's more difficult to notice because puberty can cause migraines and other body aches. It's essential to look out for because sometimes the medication some take for it won't help due to it being from mental health problems. Overusing some headaches and body pain medications can cause long-term physical health problems. If your teenager has gone to the doctor for these headaches or pains and there's been no reason for them, you should think and look for the other signs I've mentioned.