The Look of Depression- Adolescents/Teens
It is estimated that depression affects as many as one in every 33 children and 1 in 8 adolescents. Factors contributing to depression in teens include high stress environments, feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy over school performance, social interaction, sexual orientation, or family life. The symptoms of teen depression may also include striking changes in thinking and behavior, loss of motivation, becoming severely withdrawn, rebellious behavior, a sudden drop in grades, or cutting school. Other behaviors may also include: The use of alcohol and drugs and promiscuous sexual activity; and/or a preoccupation with death and dying. Suicide is a serious problem within the teen population. Suicide is the leading cause of death among teens in the US. Approximately 500,000 teens attempt suicide every year, with 5,000 succeeding.
One major factor that is happening with teens is bullying. As a child, bullying only existed within set time frames. If my bully was at school then I only had to deal with the situation from 8am-3pm, Monday thru Friday. The moment I was home, it was over. That reason alone is why I am thankful to have been a child of the 80’s. Teens today have technology that allow for bullying to carry on 24 hours a day and have detrimental information move at the speed of WIFI. Teens are losing ways to remove themselves from the cruelty of others, gossip, and negative peer groups. Talk with your teens about their friends. Ask if they feel supported. Ask them if they have been bullied or if it is currently happening. Offer them support such as counseling so that they can process these feelings. Many teens feel that they cannot talk to their parents (it’s a teen thing, parents, don’t take it personally) and a solution like a counselor they like and trust can offer support and possible solutions. There is a lot to say about teens and bullying, and we will tackle this topic in a later blog series. Just know that there is hope and you nor your teen are at the mercy of this feeling of hopelessness.