Signs and Symptoms of Depression In Teens

It is estimated that one in five teenagers will experience depression during their adolescent years.  However, many teens do not receive the help they need because the signs of depression are often confused with typical teenage behaviors.

It may not always be easy to tell the difference between depression and teenage mood swings, but here are a few warning signs and symptoms parents can look out for:

  • Unusual and frequent irritability
  • Loss of interest in regular activities
  • Excessive phone and internet use
  • Sadness for no apparent reason
  • Angry outbursts
  • Reckless behavior
  • Violent behavior
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained aches and pains such as headaches and stomach aches
  • Sudden changes in sleep
  • Sudden changes in eating habits
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Problems at school
  • Negative self-talk
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Talks of self-harm or suicide

If you think a teen might be depressed, start a conversation.  Speak about concerning behaviors in a non-judgmental, loving, and supportive way.   Acknowledge their feelings, do not minimize what is being said and resist the urge to be critical.

Initially, a teenager may be resistant to these conversations but gentle persistence from an adult is advised.

Untreated depression can lead to serious problems; therefore, it is important that you seek professional help as soon as possible. A mental health professional can create a treatment plan based on an evaluation.  Treatment depends on the severity of depression and may include therapy or medications.

To speak with a mental health specialist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-5575.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.