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Signs of Depression in Teens

New Directions Mental Health is dedicated to supporting your mental health. If you are experiencing self-harm or suicidal thoughts, we encourage you to reach out for immediate support through your local crisis services by dialing 988, contacting your local emergency services, or visiting your local emergency room. 

Awareness of mental health issues, especially depression, is rising among teenagers. Depression in teens and children can manifest in different ways and may not always be easily recognizable. As a parent or caregiver, it’s important to educate yourself on the symptoms and signs of depression in teens so you can support your child’s mental health.

At New Directions Mental Health, we understand the unique challenges faced by adolescents and offer child and teen counseling services designed to support young people through these challenging times. Our compassionate and professional team is committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment where young people can explore their emotions, develop coping strategies, and work toward improved mental well-being.

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of depression, please get in touch with us at 724.374.7414 to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled and compassionate mental health professionals.

What Are the Behavioral Signs of Depression in Teens?

Recognizing the behavioral signs of depression in teenagers can be crucial in providing the necessary support and intervention. Here are some common behavioral indicators:

  • Withdrawal from social activities – Teens may show a lack of interest in hobbies or activities they once enjoyed and isolate themselves from friends and family.
  • Changes in sleep patterns – Look for signs such as excessive sleeping or insomnia and difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • Academic performance decline – A sudden drop in grades or disinterest in schoolwork can be a red flag for underlying depression.
  • Increased irritability or anger – Teens might exhibit more frequent mood swings, irritability, or unexplained outbursts of anger.
  • Risky or self-destructive behavior – This can include incidences of self-harm, substance use, or engaging in dangerous activities without regard for consequences.
  • Changes in appetite or weight – Noticeable weight loss or gain or significant changes in eating habits could indicate emotional distress.
  • Expressing feelings of hopelessness – Teens may openly talk about feeling worthless, helpless, or overly pessimistic about the future.

To a certain degree, these behaviors can be expected for teenagers. However, if they persist with other depression symptoms, seek professional support. It’s crucial to communicate openly with your teen, listen without judgment, and validate their feelings.

Identifying Common Emotional Signs of Depression in Teens

Teenagers may not always express their emotions openly or struggle to identify and articulate them. However, some common emotional signs may indicate depression:

  • Persistent sadness or hopelessness – If a teenager is feeling sad or hopeless for an extended period, it may be a sign of depression.
  • Low self-esteem – Depressed teens may have low self-worth and feel inadequate in comparison to their peers.
  • Intense guilt or shame – Teens with depression may experience excessive guilt or shame, even over small mistakes or things that are out of their control.
  • Lack of motivation – A pervasive feeling of apathy and lack of motivation is a common symptom of depression in teenagers.
  • Difficulty concentrating – Teens with depression may struggle to focus or have trouble making decisions.
  • Increased sensitivity – Depressed teens may be more sensitive than usual, taking things personally or getting upset easily.

It’s crucial to create a safe and supportive environment for your teen to express their emotions and seek help when needed. Our child and teen counseling services at New Directions Mental Health can provide a safe space for young individuals to address these emotional signs of depression and work toward healing.

The Connection Between Social Media and Depression in Teens

With the rise of social media, many teenagers spend a significant amount of time online, which can have both positive and negative effects on their mental health. While social media can help teens connect with others and express themselves creatively, it can also contribute to feelings of inadequacy and comparison.

Excessive social media use has been linked to increased symptoms of depression in teenagers. The comparison with peers, cyberbullying, and the constant pressure to maintain a certain online presence can significantly affect a teenager’s self-esteem and overall well-being. Teens often feel pressured to appear perfect, leading to feelings of inadequacy and sadness when they fall short of unrealistic standards.

At New Directions Mental Health, we understand these challenges and provide strategies to navigate social media healthily and mindfully. Recognizing and addressing signs of distress linked to social media can help mitigate its adverse effects on teen mental health.

Reach Out to New Directions Mental Health for Support with Depression

As a teen or parent, it’s essential to address any signs of depression early on and seek professional support. Our child and teen counseling services at New Directions Mental Health are designed to help young people cope with their challenges and develop skills for healthy emotional well-being. Depression is treatable, and with the proper support, individuals can overcome it.

Contact us today at 724.374.7414 to schedule an appointment for our child and teen counseling services and take the first step toward supporting mental health. For new clients, please click here to schedule an appointment. For existing clients, please click here and find your office location to contact your office directly.