Worried Your Teen may be Experiencing Depression?

Posted on May 2, 2022 by Published by

Living through a pandemic isn’t easy on anyone. Whether it’s remote learning and drastically different opportunities for socializing, teens are facing major changes in their normal routines or plans for the future. As a result, you may be noticing changes in your teen’s mood and behavior. Dr. Gabrielle Roberts, psychologist with Advocate Children’s Hospital, says the following signs may suggest your teen is experiencing depression.

1. Frequent sadness, 2. Anger and irritability, 3. Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness and guilt, 4. Fatigue, Restlessness, 5. Withdrawal, Loss of interest, 6. Changes to sleep or eating patterns, 7. Trouble with concentration and decision making, 8. Change in school performance, 9. Physical complaints, 10. Suicidal or self-harming behavior

What should you do if you think your child is depressed? What if your teen notices these changes in a friend?

1. Talk with them, 2. Be a good listener: Validate feelings and be careful not to shame or minimize how they feel. 3. For parents, help your child seek help by reaching out to a school counselor, pediatrician or mental health professional. Do not ignore any statements about suicide or self-harm. If your child is threatening to commit suicide, call 911 or go to the emergency room right away. 4. For teens, encourage your friend to seek help. Help them to identify a trusted adult in whom they can confide—like a parent, counselor or teacher. Offer to go with them to talk. If your friend is talking about suicide or engaging in self-harming behaviors, tell an adult right away. Even if your friend might be mad at you for telling, you are being a good friend by taking action to keep them safe. If you are with someone who says they are going to commit suicide, call 911.

For more resources visit OLW’s Mental Health Ministry page HERE:

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