1. Your teen seems more grumpy or irritable than usual
Many people assume that the primary symptom of depression is sadness or tearfulness; however, a depressed teen may also exhibit outright anger or low frustration tolerance.
2. Your teen’s sleep is “off”
Although teens do require upwards of 8 hours of sleep for optimal functioning, if your teen is wanting to sleep to the exclusion of other activities, this may be an indication that your teen is depressed. Conversely, if your teen is generally a good sleeper but is now struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep at night, this may speak to underlying depression as well.
3. Your teen is lacking academic motivationTeens with depression may have difficulty concentrating in class or completing work in a timely fashion. If your teen is typically a capable student and is experiencing a decline in his or her grades, your teen may be struggling with depression.
4. Change in your teen’s activity level
People often equate depression with physical fatigue and lethargy. While depression can certainly rob someone of their energy and enthusiasm, a teen who seems physically restless or agitated l (i.e., paces, chews his/her nails, etc.) may also be experiencing depression.
5. Change in your teen’s behavior
If your teen begins to self-medicate using drugs and/or alcohol or starts engaging in risky behavior (i.e., promiscuity, breaking the law, etc.), this could be an indicator that he or she is depressed.
If your teen is exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, please know that help is available. I am a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (#88883) who currently sees clients in San Jose, CA. I have experience working with teenagers and young adults experiencing an array of mental health concerns, including but not limited to depression, anxiety, grief and loss, and life transitions. If you are interested in learning more, please schedule a free 30 minute consultation. I look forward to speaking with you.