With many teens heading back to school, peer pressure and academic expectations are once again a reality. These added pressures can cause ups and downs during what can be an already tumultuous time of life. For some teens, though, the lows are more than just temporary feelings. They're symptoms of depression.
Depression is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Teen depression is a serious mental health problem. It affects how teenagers think, feel and behave, and it can cause emotional, functional and physical problems. Although depression can occur at any time in life, symptoms can differ between teens and adults.
What to look for
Signs and symptoms a teen may be depressed include a change in his or her previous attitude and behavior that can cause significant distress and problems at school or home, in social activities, or in other areas of life.
Be alert for emotional changes, including:
• 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.
• Irritability or annoyed mood.