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With all the natural hormonal changes that occur throughout the teenage years, it may be difficult to discern what is normal behavior and what is cause for alarm. However, there are several telltale signs to look for in a teen who is struggling with depression. Being aware of these signs can help you get your teen the treatment they need to get their life back on track.
Problems in school
Poor performance in school is often an early sign of depression in teenagers. If your child typically gets good grades and suddenly their grades plummet, it may be a warning sign. Conflicts with teachers and other classmates can also be an early warning sign that your child is struggling with depression.
All teens express anger at times but if your generally calm and happy child seems to be expressing outbursts of anger more frequently, you should suspect depression. If your child appears to be developing a negative attitude about life or seems to be easily angered over small issues, it can be an important indicator of depressive illness.
Withdrawing from people
If you notice your teen withdrawing to their room, neglecting friendships, and avoiding social situations, it can be a red flag for depression. Isolation can make depression worse because there is no diversion from the feelings of sadness. Being alone gives your teen more time to focus on negative emotions that may lead to self-harm.
The amount of sleep teens need varies depending on the individual. However, the key is to look for changes from what is normal for your child. For instance, if your child typically sleeps a lot but suddenly begins to have difficulty sleeping, it can be a sign of depression. The same is true for an energetic teen who needs less sleep and suddenly begins sleeping all the time.
Neglecting personal hygiene
Personal hygiene is an important clue to watch for in depressed individuals of any age but can be a profound sign in teens. If your child's appearance looks unkempt or if you find your teen neglecting basic activities of daily living, such as showering, brushing their teeth, or styling their hair, it can be a sign of depression.
If you think your teen may be suffering from depression, getting them help in a timely manner is important. Depression treatment programs geared especially for teens and their unique issues can help your teen overcome their depression. Knowing what to look for if your teen is depressed is the first step to getting them the help they need.
For more information, contact a depression treatment program for kids.