Depression Symptoms in Teens:
What to Watch For
Some kids will come right out and say, “I’m depressed, I feel suicidal.” But for teenagers who hold their emotions inside, it’s up to parents, teachers and others to be on the lookout for depression symptoms in teens.
Depression in teens often leads to social problems – an inability to make friends, have fun or participate in activities that most young adults typically enjoy.
Academic failure is another depression symptom in teens. “When adults are depressed they typically stop going to work or do not perform up to their usual level. But for kids, their work is school,” says Dan Becker, M.D., a psychiatrist and medical director for Mills-Peninsula’s Behavioral Health Services.
Teens who are depressed will often stop attending school regularly or their performance will drop off. A student who was holding a B average for several years will suddenly start bringing home Ds or Fs.
Other depression symptoms in teens include:
- Depressed mood (in teens, this often means moodier or more irritable than usual)
- Suicidal thinking
- Loss of interest in normal activities, particularly activities your teen has enjoyed over the years but suddenly doesn’t want to do any more
- Prominent feelings of guilt or low self-esteem
- Loss of energy – inability to get moving, even to do things your teen usually enjoys
- Poor concentration
- Changes in appetite – weight loss or, in some cases, weight gain
- Sleep disturbance – difficulty falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night or getting up very early before it’s time to get up
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Burlingame, CA 94010
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