Depression is a commonly misunderstood phenomenon, particularly among adolescents. The normal mood swings and despondency that occur during the teen years can make any child appear depressed. There is always a risk of erroneously assuming that a child is depressed when they are exhibiting normal aspects of adolescent behavior and mood.
However, some children do experience depression to the extent that it requires professional assistance. Depression can lead to a lack of productivity in school, undermine a child's self-esteem and/or ability to maintain friendships, and increase a child's risk of substance abuse, eating disorders, self-mutilation and suicide.
Parents and adolescents should be aware of the common symptoms of depression. Depression is a fairly common syndrome (as many of 1 in 6 of all U.S. citizens will experience a significant depression at some point throughout their lives).
Depression is highly treatable, particularly with early intervention. Below is a list of the common symptoms of adolescent depression. Please remember that many of these symptoms are common among adolescents. If you need help distinguishing depression from "normal" adolescence, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Symptoms of Depression
Decreased energy, fatigue Feelings of hopelessness Irritability Poor concentration and inability to focus (and related memory impairment) Lack of motivation Lack of meaning in life, no purpose/enjoyment in life Difficulty sleeping Changes in appetite (eating too much or too little) Pessimism, self-loathing, extremely self-critical Unexplained crying spells Anxiety Recurrent thoughts of suicide/death Useful links (click any icon) Contact Mr. Yeager to discuss questions or concerns National Association of School Psychologists website Mayo Clinic website National Institute of Mental Health website "More Than Moody" by Dr. Harold Koplewicz (link to Amazon.com)