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

    bullet Decreased energy, fatigue
    bullet Feelings of hopelessness
    bullet Irritability
    bullet Poor concentration and inability to focus (and related memory impairment)
    bullet Lack of motivation
    bullet Lack of meaning in life, no purpose/enjoyment in life
    bullet Difficulty sleeping
    bullet Changes in appetite (eating too much or too little)
    bullet Pessimism, self-loathing, extremely self-critical
    bullet Unexplained crying spells
    bullet Anxiety
    bullet 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)