Depression or normal teen mood swings?
Is your teen always saying that he hates school? Does he always show irritable and cranky behavior? If yes, something is troubling your child and you need to pay attention to it.
It’s normal for teenagers to go through ‘ups and downs’ and feel ‘the blues’. But if your child feels angry, guilty, sad or cranky more than usual, he/she could be suffering from depression disease.
Depression is more common in children and teenagers than you think. It affects about 20% of teenagers by the time they become adults. Surprisingly, only one in five depressed teens receives help. Unlike adults, they do not know how to do address their issues. They rely on parents support to recognize their suffering and get them the help they need. If their emotions go unheard, children may react in abnormal ways. Their mood swings may disrupt their ability to function on daily basis. It may indicate a serious emotional or mental disorder that needs attention – teenager depression.
So if your child is behaving in the following ways for most of the time or for more than two weeks, he/she might need help with depression disease -
- Is your child sleeping too much or too little? – According to research, it has been found that teens who don’t get enough sleep are four times as likely to develop depression symptoms than their peers who do get enough sleep. A disturbed sleeping pattern can cause a teen to lack the ability to control emotions, impulses, and moods. So, check if your child is sleeping for at least 8-10 hours a day.
- Does your child often show irritable, cranky behavior? - If yes, it could be a symptom of depression. A depressed teen may show mixed emotions at a time. A happy teen may suddenly become irritable, upset, anxious, or angry.
- Does your teen spend too much time alone? – Research shows that 8% of teenagers feel lonely most of the times or always. 10.1% of teenagers in India have no close friends. Lonely teenagers are more likely to be bullied and feel depressed and they are at a higher risk for suicide than other teens.
- Is your child skipping meals or eating excess? If you see any change in his/her appetite or weight in a short span of time, there are chances that your teen is depressed. People with depression often use food to self-medicate. Children may crave more for high-carb foods, such as ice-cream and cake when they’re depressed.
- Does your child show low-confidence and feel worthless? – The teen years are an anxious and unsettling period as boys and girls face the difficulties of transition into adulthood. Those with good support networks (e.g. among family and peers) are likely to have someone to help them deal with their feelings. Others without such networks are more susceptible during their emotional changes and may get the feelings of ugliness, shame, failure, and unworthiness.
- Does your child have suicidal thoughts? – You would be shocked to know that depression disease is the second highest cause of death among adolescents. Many troubling and difficult situations can make a teen consider suicide. You may recognize their suicidal behavior when they express their feelings - “I wish I was never born…” or “I wish I could go to sleep and never wake up?” “If my girlfriend breaks up with me I can’t live anymore.”
If your teenager has one or more of the above behaviors, take notice, ask questions, get involved and show support. Just knowing that a parent is concerned can help relieve some of the pressure and anxiety your teen is feeling. If you are not sure how to help your teen with depression symptoms, seek medical help or make an appointment with your pediatrician. You can also take the help of homeopathy. Homeopathy treatment for depression . offers great help to its patients. It corrects the root cause of the problem and gives you long-lasting results without causing any side-effects.