According to statistics, one in eight children suffers from teenage depression. This figure is terrifying: it turns out that in an ordinary class, 2-3 people can have depression. And the number of tragic cases due to adolescent depression is not decreasing.
This issue is worth taking seriously and taking a closer look at the strange or alienated behavior of your child. Perhaps he needs help!
The content of the article:
- Don’t underestimate the problem!
- Is age to blame?
- Signs that something is wrong
- Depression in boys and girls – what’s the difference?
- How to help a child – instructions
Don’t underestimate the problem of teen depression!
In connection with the increased incidence of abnormal behavior in children 12-18 years old, parents are advised to take a closer look at their children.
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Despite the violent behavior during adolescence, those around them should understand that adolescents are rather gentle creatures with a still immature psyche. And they often tend to experience a state of depression, which can end very badly.
In general, the topic of teenage depression is very serious, and it is worth learning about its symptoms in order to have time to take action in time.
Teenagers perceive the events taking place in their lives a little differently, and they cannot always adequately react to them.
They are much more vulnerable than adults. During adolescence, some of them become more suspicious, some become more anxious, and some become aggressive.
Video: Depression in Children and Adolescents
Causes of depression in children and adolescents – is adolescence alone to blame?
In addition to serious reasons for the onset of depression, everything can start with completely harmless situations:
More serious reasons are possible that entail the occurrence of reactive depression:
Another possible cause of the occurrence is neurological and endocrine diseases, for example:
- Traumatic brain injury
- CNS infections
- Diseases of the adrenal glands
- Lack of joy hormones (serotonin, dopamine) in the body
It is worth noting that depression in a teenager can appear for no apparent reason.
Therefore, it is worth taking a closer look at the behavior and emotional state of the teenager.
Signs and symptoms of depression in your teenager – watch out for your child!
During adolescence, all people experience mood swings, and this is normal.
When do you need to start sounding the alarm?
First you need to understand what depression is.
The word comes from the Latin “deprimo”, which literally translates as “to crush”, “to suppress”. It is a mental disorder characterized by a loss of mood and an inability to receive joy.
In other words, it is a mood disorder.
Here are some signs of depression:
- Lack of mood
- Constant guilt
- Poor appetite
- Feeling unnecessary
- Bad dream
- Decreased concentration of attention
- Poor self-esteem
- Suicidal thoughts
If three or more signs are repeated for more than two weeks, then, most likely, the person has depression.
Everyone in life has periods of despondency and the so-called “black streak” – but if they become protracted, it is better to consult a specialist.
Depression in a child can be suspected if their behavior or mood has changed in any way.
The main symptoms are:
- Loss of interest in everything that happens in life
- Depressed state for several days
- Inability to have fun
Additional symptoms include:
- Deterioration in academic performance
- Decreased self-esteem
- Complaints about fatigue
- Complaints about headaches or any other pain
- Feeling worthless
- Insomnia – or, conversely, sleepiness
- Reluctance to communicate
- Difficulty making decisions
- Lack of appetite or increased appetite
- Immersion in the virtual world
- Avoiding friends
- Talking about death or thoughts of suicide
- In conversations, the phrases “Tired of everything”, “I’m tired of everything”, “I’m tired of everything”, “No one understands me” appears more and more often.
Often a hereditary factor plays an important role in the appearance of depression in adolescents.
If one of the parents suffered from depression, then the risk of its occurrence in the child increases several times.
Video: Depression: Causes, Biochemistry, How to Get Out
Teenage depression in boys and girls – is there a difference?
Symptoms of depression in girls and boys are somewhat different:
- Girls become more whiny, pay increased attention to their own appearance, and are very worried about failures.
- Boys, on the other hand, become more withdrawn, aggressive, nervous, can take out anger on the weaker one (younger children, animals). In general, depression is more difficult to diagnose in the stronger sex, since they usually remain calm outwardly. In addition, boys are taught from childhood not to show emotions and pain with the phrases “Don’t cry, you’re a man”.
Scientists have studied the brains of depressed adolescents of both sexes using MRI scans. It turned out that girls and boys react differently to depression, which means that they need to be treated differently.
However, at present, both sexes are still treated the same way.
In general, depression is more common in women, but in men it is usually deeper and often has serious consequences, such as suicide.
Teenage girls are about three times more likely to be depressed than boys. Perhaps everything is about heightened emotionality.
What to do if you notice signs of depression in a teenager – instructions
In the event that you suspect that your child has depression, first you need to slightly change the model of communication with him.
Other family members must do it too!
- First, you need to make it clear to the child that you support him and will be with him, no matter what happens.
- Then you can try to bring him to a frank conversation. In general, try to talk to him more now.
- You should not criticize a teenager, you should not read lectures and lectures. You can give advice carefully.
- Take his problems seriously, because for him it is not a joke. Take his experience seriously.
In the event that you understand that the teenager has a very depressed state, then it is better to consult a specialist – and not postpone your visit. As with any disease, no need to self-medicate!
However, the child should be prepared for this a little. Explain to him that depression is serious and that a doctor can be of real help.
Also, before visiting a doctor, it is worth remembering what medications your child has been taking recently – this information may be needed.
It is easiest to cope with the disease at the initial stage. A few psychotherapeutic consultations may be sufficient. Another option is group lessons. The optimal type of treatment must be selected by a specialist.
Parents should help and assist their child’s mental recovery. In addition, it is necessary to provide it with proper nutrition and sleep patterns. You need to constantly monitor the emotional state of your child. Try to limit him from alcohol and cigarettes, let him better direct his energies to physical activity.
Video: Depression in Children: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
In more severe cases, medication will be needed. The doctor will select the necessary anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications. It is important to be aware of the possible side effects of these drugs.
Taking the drugs has a positive effect, however, in the first days of taking them, they can cause suicidal thoughts in a teenager. It is important that during this period he was under constant supervision.
The treatment plan must be followed with maximum precision. The drugs should be drunk in courses, and not quit if the appearance of an improvement in the condition has been created. You need to be prepared for the fact that drug treatment is a long and difficult process, but it gives a visible positive effect.
In cases where there is a threat of harm to oneself, or to someone from the environment, it is better to hospitalize the teenager. In a hospital setting, doctors select a comprehensive treatment and control the slightest changes in behavior. The child is under the supervision of specialists until the symptoms of depression disappear completely.
It is impossible to deny the existence of depression. This problem was recognized even in antiquity, they called it “melancholy” and tried to treat it. The opinion that only adults who have experienced some serious shock can suffer from depression is not at all true.
Today, the problem of teenage depression has become widespread, and doctors are knowingly sounding the alarm. It is important for parents to be able to distinguish this problem from simple hormonal changes in adolescents and problems of adolescence. And just at the initial stage, this mental state responds well to treatment.
The Bologny.ru website warns: the information is provided for informational purposes only, and is not a medical recommendation. In case of alarming symptoms of depression in adolescents, do not self-medicate in any case, but seek help from specialists!
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