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Five Fast Questions and Answers About Teenage Depression

by Editorial Team | December 29th, 2016 | Teens

teen with school in background (400x400)A survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed  1 in 20 people report feeling depressed. And by one estimate, depression costs the US economy $210.5 billion in direct and indirect ways on a yearly basis.

But despite these astonishing figures, getting help for teen depression is often less talked about than it should be. Parents should feel free to ask about depression without the fear of their parenting being questioned. Or their teen’s character coming under attack.

Here are 5 frequently asked questions on teenage depression that can help you better understand this illness.

I’m worried that my teen is suffering from depression? How can I tell if that’s the case?

Depression is often characterized by feelings of hopelessness, sadness, guilt, and worthlessness. These feelings can lead to thoughts related to death, which further lead to thoughts of suicide. When a teen is suffering from depression, they will often seem withdrawn, anti-social, or listless. They may also appear to lose interest in things they were previously interested in. Other physical manifestations include poor sleep patterns, or the desire to sleep all the time, a loss of appetite, or overeating. If any of these symptoms continue for more than 2 weeks at a time, the CDC advises that you consult a mental health professional.

How can I help my teen who is suffering from teenage depression?

Recognizing the symptoms of teenage depression is the first and most important step to helping your teen. Having regular talks with your teen will keep you in touch with how they are feeling and what they are thinking about. Doing this can help you determine their mental state and will help you spot depression as soon as it appears.

Should I take my teen to a doctor?

It can be difficult to tell the difference between a moody teen and a teen suffering from depression. Depression is an actual disorder, often caused by an imbalance in brain chemicals. While there are ways that parents can help their teen, it never hurts to ask your doctor or a mental health professional for specific advice. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe anti-depressants or therapy sessions. But a lot depends on your teen and where he or she is at individually.

Is there a way to prevent depression?

According to HelpGuide, engaging your teen in exercise is said to be an essential element to mental health. The decline or neglect of one’s physical health can often be tied to a mental decline. Therefore, it’s important to make sure your teen is getting enough sleep and maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet. Providing guidelines for online use can also help to ensure a balanced lifestyle.

Is my depressed teen in danger of committing suicide?

Worry over the risk of suicide is an important concern, and one that should not be ignored. The CDC lists suicide as the third leading cause of death for those between the ages of 12 and 19.

Of those who commit suicide, over 90 percent were previously diagnosed with depression or some other mental illness. Does your teen talk about death frequently? Does he seem to engage in reckless behavior, or have a death-wish mentality? Has she hinted at wanting it all to go away, or wanting the pain to end? If you answered yes to any of these questions, call a suicide hotline for help, or consult your doctor as to what to do. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has said that 20 to 50 percent of those who have attempted suicide will try again.

Nurturing strong family ties can help to safeguard your teen. As well as doing your part to ensure that they are living a balanced lifestyle. But most of all, don’t be afraid to seek out help from your doctor or a mental health professional. Symptoms of depression should never be ignored.

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