Teenagers are well known for being moody and mercurial. That can make it hard to tell if your teen is exhibiting normal teen behavior, or exhibiting signs of depression.
Here are some clues that can tell you it may be time to consult your child’s health care provider.
- How is your child sleeping? It is normal for teenagers to want to sleep late; they are, after all, experiencing a great amount of growth. But if your teen is suddenly sleeping all the time, or experiencing insomnia, it could be a sign of depression.
- Is your child spending time in enjoyable pursuits? A teen who is no longer interested in things they used to enjoy may be depressed. Another warning sign is a teen who seems to withdraw from their friends.
- How is your child’s appetite? If your child’s appetite suddenly increases or decreases considerably, you should probably consult his health care provider.
- Does your child mention being depressed, suicidal, or hopeless? If your child says things that indicate he feels worthless or depressed, take these statements seriously and seek help for him immediately. Do not assume the problem is general teenage angst when it could be more serious.
Remember that you know your child better than anyone else. If you suspect something is wrong, talk with your teen, even though they may seem resistant.
If your teen won’t talk with you, find a trusted adult they will talk with, such as their health care provider, a teacher or coach, or a youth minister in your church. Your parental intuition is an important asset. Use it.