NUMBER OF WORDS: 466
KEYWORD: "Teenage Depression" = 12
When your teen's bad mood, melancholy, sadness or despair has lingered for such a long time that they have started to affect his or her ability to function normally, then chances are he or she might be suffering from teenage depression.
Teenagers normally experience bad moods, occasional melancholy, and even short periods of feeling down. But when these feelings become so pronounced and so persistent that they start to affect your adolescent's ability to function in a normal level, then these may be signs of teenage depression.
Episodes of teenage depression may last for an extended period of time. For teens, it could take weeks. For others, it lasts months. Still, for teens who are suffering from a more severe type of teenage depression, a depressive episode may last for years.
What are the Symptoms?
The adolescent phase is one of the most trying stages of a person's life. During this period, it is considered normal to feel sad, experience mood swings, or feel 'out of sorts,' which are in part brought about by the change in the hormonal levels in the teenager's body. For this reason, early detection of the signs of teenage depression is extremely difficult to accomplish.
Still, a diagnosis of teenage depression may be obtained if the adolescent experiences an unusual degree of the following symptoms:
* Changes in eating and sleeping habits (eating and sleeping too little or too much)
* Significant but unexplained weight gain or loss
* Missed school, poor performance in school or declining grades
* Withdrawal from friends and family
* Loss of interest or enjoyment in activities previously enjoyed
* Difficulty making decisions, lack of concentration, poor memory
* Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
* Overreaction to criticism, irritability
* Feelings of emptiness or that nothing is worth the effort
* Frequent health complaints when no physical ailment exists
* Anger or anxiety
* Drug/alcohol abuse, thoughts of death or suicide
In extreme cases of teenage depression, symptoms such as insomnia, panic attacks, delusions, or hallucinations may be exhibited. If your teenager has experienced or is experiencing any of these symptoms of severe teenage depression, it is advised that you see your doctor immediately as this type of depression has a particular risk for suicide.
There are many causes of teenage depression, and these can vary from adolescent to adolescent. Often, a confluence of factors may trigger an adolescent to develop teenage depression. These factors may either be significant events such as the death of a loved one or parents' divorce or earlier traumatic experiences such as abuse. Stress may also result in teenage depression, especially if the adolescent lacks emotional support. Other factors are hormonal or physical changes that normally occur during puberty, medical conditions, allergies, substance abuse, nutritional deficiencies, and genetics.