Your teenager could be moody in a way that's completely within natural, healthy bounds, but they could also be suffering from depression. But how can you tell one from the other?
Here are some signs you child is struggling with more than general teen angst:
- Change in habits: You've noticed that your teenager isn't engaging with friends anymore or pursuing beloved activities.
- Mood changes: For the past few weeks, your child has been suffering from irritability, sadness and a belief that life is meaningless.
- Physical complaints: Your teen is complaining often of headaches, stomachaches or other physical maladies, and may visit the school nurse often.
- School performance: Your child's school performance dramatically changes, causing grades to fall and unexcused absences to accumulate.
- Sensitivity: Your teenager is displaying more sensitivity to rejection, and is making frequent critical comments about themselves.
- Sleep changes: You're starting to see that your child isn't sleeping during the night, or is sleeping too much during the day.
- Weight changes: Your teen has experienced sudden and significant weight loss or gain.
If any of these symptoms last longer than two weeks, see a health care provider with your teenager so you can start identifying and treating the problem. Individuals struggling with depression will sometimes try to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol as a way of coping with the pain, so also be on the lookout for signs of substance abuse. Finally, talk to your child about what they are feeling and convey your unconditional love and support.
If you have any questions about depression or how our dual diagnosis method of treatment can help, contact Fairwinds Treatment Center today. Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef founded the center with the goal of healing individuals through therapeutic counseling as well as clinical treatment. This is what makes Fairwinds one of the most highly respected dual diagnosis treatment centers in the nation.