Back to School at FamilyEducation.com
|

Beyond the Blues: Teen Depression

Depression distinguishes itself from the “blues” because it's longer in duration and more intense in nature. In addition, it's an illness that can lead to some other serious problems (considering suicide, running away, joining a cult, and so on). Being aware of some of the warning signals of depression may help you spot a problem in time:

Tuning In

You really have to judge the “signs of depression” listed here against your teen's usual behavior. If your daredevil teen likes to experiment and take risks, that alone might not indicate a problem. But in a less adventurous teen, a sudden interest in experimentation might be something a parent or professional should take note of.

  • Changes in mood. Sadness, dejection, listlessness, and hopelessness are signals of depression, as are a loss of pleasure or enthusiasm in activities your teen formerly enjoyed. Some teens may exhibit extreme mood swings.
  • Changes in behavior. When you think of depression, you usually imagine someone who's very sad, but that isn't always the case. While dejection or hopelessness can certainly indicate depression in adolescents, there's also a strong likelihood that depression may be indicated by other types of behavior: rebellious behavior (by someone who usually doesn't rebel), or any type of defiant, antisocial behavior that isn't normal for your teen.
  • Changes in mental processes. If your teen consistently displays an inability to concentrate, memory lapses, loss of self-esteem, guilt, paranoia, or unusual anxiety, look into it!
  • Changes in biological functions. Not being hungry, or the opposite—overeating, seeming overly tired for the amount of physical activity, or sleep disturbances can also signal trouble.
  • School problems. If your teen shows a sudden change in school performance, has recurring problems with teachers, or habitual truancy, these, too, are warning signs.
  • Psychosomatic health complaints. While there may not be a physiological cause, your teen is, indeed, trying to tell you that “something hurts.” Don't dismiss frequent medical complaints for lack of cause.
  • Self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. Drug and alcohol use may come about for many reasons, but if you suspect your teen is abusing drugs or alcohol, get involved.
|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Parenting a Teenager © 1996 by Kate Kelly. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


August 27, 2014



Don't be afraid of fats! Healthy fats, like those found in nuts, avocado, or cheese, make great lunch additions or snacks, and will help keep your child full until the end of the school day.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

11 Coolest Lunch Boxes for Kids
Send your child's lunch to school in style! Check out our picks for the 11 best lunch boxes with great features from BPA-free accessories to spill-resistant fabric.

7 Important Back-to-School Safety Tips
Follow these back-to-school safety tips to make sure your child stays safe on the way to school, in the classroom, and while on the playground.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!