Health & Spirit

How to tell if your teen is depressed

From Mayo Clinic News Network, Mayo Clinic News Network on

Published in Health & Fitness

Teen depression is a serious mental health problem that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities. It affects how your teenager thinks, feels and behaves, and it can cause emotional, functional and physical problems. Although depression can occur at any time in life, symptoms may be different between teens and adults.

Issues such as peer pressure, academic expectations and changing bodies can bring a lot of ups and downs for teens. But for some teens, the lows are more than just temporary feelings -- they're a symptom of depression.

Teen depression isn't a weakness or something that can be overcome with willpower -- it can have serious consequences and requires long-term treatment. For most teens, depression symptoms ease with treatment such as medication and psychological counseling.

Teen depression signs and symptoms include a change from the teenager's previous attitude and behavior that can cause significant distress and problems at school or home, in social activities, or in other areas of life.

Depression symptoms can vary in severity, but changes in your teen's emotions and behavior may include the examples below.

--Feelings of sadness, which can include crying spells for no apparent reason


--Frustration or feelings of anger, even over small matters

--Feeling hopeless or empty

--Irritable or annoyed mood

--Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities


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