This is a follow-up to the previous post about bullying and suicide risk in teens. When highlighting that specific area of concern about our teen population, I thought it made sense to have some more detailed information and some solid resources.
Normal Moodiness and Support for Depression
Since teenage boys and girls are famous for their moodiness, it should come as no surprise that nearly 20% of teens will develop depression before they reach adulthood. Doesn’t it make sense, though? They’re exploring the many joys and hazards of romantic relationships (plus those unruly hormones), are trying to find their way between childhood and adulthood, while going through massive changes in their brain.
While general moodiness and emotional swings are considered fairly normal for these kids, clinical depression is not. It’s a problem that needs effective treatment. You may not be able to remove all the hurdles in your teen’s life, but you can help them get through the rough times when they need you most. And they do need you, even if they believe you are somehow part of their problem (rightfully or not). When you show that you are there for them in an open unwavering sort of way, they’ll be more likely to accept your suggestions for help.
Some of the risks of teen depression are self-harm (cutting, burning), suicide, poor nutrition, poor sleep, declining grades, and increased family conflict. Even though your teen may be the one displaying the most obvious symptoms, consider the bigger family picture and how it might play into their situation.
If grandpa died recently, siblings are growing up or moving away, new family members being introduced (blended family, new baby), or family conflict has risen, be aware that your teen’s depression may be strongly linked. This may not be the case, but it’s still a good idea to see the bigger picture. You may start to understand ways the whole family can be more helpful and supportive, even if the family situation isn’t the main problem.
I found a few useful online resources for you and your teen (or someone else you know with a depressed teen).
General resource about teen depression – http://helpguide.org/mental/depression_teen.htm
A quiz you can take to help you know if your teen is depressed – http://parentingteens.about.com/library/sp/quiz/depression/blteen_depression_quiz.htm
A forum for teens with depression issues- http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Teen-Depression/show/185
If you have had experience with a depressed teen and have other resources to share, online or offline, please do so in the comments. And as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and concerns about this topic.
This post currently has
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.
Teen Depression and Resources to Help | Family Mental Health (February 25, 2012)
Last reviewed: 24 Feb 2012