5 Signs of Depression in Teens


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From increased academic expectations to physical changes, people typically face a lot of challenges during their teen years. For teens with depression, this period can be especially hard. 

The signs of depression during this time can vary. While the external signs of depression may be apparent in some teens, others may conceal their symptoms. This can make identifying and addressing mental health symptoms more complicated. If you are a teen and think you may have depression, it is important to understand the signs and seek professional help when you need it.

Recognizing the signs of depression is crucial for early intervention and support. The right treatment can have a major impact on your well-being. As a teen, your choices now can affect the rest of your life. Seeking mental health treatment can be a choice that yields lifelong benefits as you continue to apply the skills and guidance gained from a holistic treatment approach.

5 top signs of depression in teens to look out for

  • Withdrawal from activities — Depression often leads to a withdrawal from activities a person used to enjoy. This is because depression can hinder your ability to enjoy anything, even your favorite hobbies. Withdrawing from activities can also be related to social avoidance. Are you becoming more withdrawn from your friends, family and peers? While teens are often shy or introverted, suddenly starting to avoid everyone you know is not a normal behavioral shift. Working with your licensed clinical therapist, you can manage your depression symptoms and regain the joys of your regular activities.
  • Anger and irritability — Are you prone to abrupt outbursts? Do you feel more easily irritated than you did in the past? These symptoms can sometimes go unnoticed in teens, as parents may disregard them as teen moodiness. Understanding the significance of any depression symptoms is essential. To ensure you receive treatment when you need it, taking depression symptoms seriously is important. 
  • Persistent sadness — Teens and adults with depression often experience feelings of sadness for extended periods of time. You may feel hopeless or empty during these times. While being sad sometimes is normal, it is important to understand when sadness can indicate a more serious underlying condition. Sadness related to depression does not always have a particular cause. You may simply feel sad or down for no apparent reason. Sadness caused by depression also tends to last for long periods, whereas regular sadness typically passes with time. 
  • Academic decline — Depression can have a major impact on every aspect of a teen’s life. Depression symptoms can include difficulty concentrating and a lack of motivation. These symptoms often make it harder to pay attention in class and complete homework. If your grades are falling, it is important to seek treatment. Addressing your depression can help you alleviate your symptoms and get your grades back on track.
  • Constant self-criticism — Low self-esteem is a common depression symptom. In terms of external signs, teens often express self-esteem issues through self-critical comments. Sometimes these comments are masked by a sarcastic or ironic tone. 

Lightfully can address symptoms and underlying issues of depression in teens

At Lightfully Behavioral Health, we offer holistic treatment tailored to your needs. Our holistic treatment is designed to be: 

All these attributes are combined in our unique therapy method, known as Process Based Therapy. Process-based therapy can be a great way to address the signs, symptoms and  thought patterns of depression. It can help you learn how to reshape your thought patterns. By doing so, it can help you learn how to cope with the emotions and symptoms that depression is causing you at any given time. As a result, you should be better able to balance and manage your emotions and symptoms.

Change is possible. When you’re ready to take the first step, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of you.

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