What is adolescent depression?

Bouts of sadness and feelings of unhappiness are common amongst children and adolescence. Whilst children, much like adults, experience the “blues” and the normal spectrum of daily human emotion, persistent unhappiness in a child or adolescent can indicate something more. Youth depression is on the rise and can interfere with social activities, educational development and stop a child from enjoying the wonders of being young.

Signs

Looking out for depression in children/adolescence can be difficult as they struggle to communicate precise feelings. Parents/Guardians often overlook the negative behaviour displayed by children suffering depression as misbehaviour – punishing the child and triggering a negative cycle. The following signs over a prolonged period can indicate a struggle with depression:

  • Having low energy and a lack of motivation
  • Losing interest in activities they once enjoyed
  • Difficulties listening or concentrating
  • Self-degrading comments
  • Avoiding social situations or time with peers/friends
  • A negative mindset
  • Agitation and irritability
  • be irritable, agitated, easily annoyed or upset
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Disruptuive changes in sleeping patterns

Treatment

Depression can be debilitating for a child, leading to depressive thoughts and destructive behaviour. Left untreated, depression in formative years can lead to problems as young people enter adulthood. The good news is depression can be assessed and by a mental health professional, and coupled with a tailored treatment plan and counselling techniques, can help foster a happier and fulfilling childhood. To find out more, simply contact us.

Sources:

Beyond Blue – Depression in Children