Depression in Teenagers
Teenagers will often experience periods of time when they feel sad or “down,” but when these feelings are persistent, they may be suffering from depression. According to Colombia University and the City University of New York, depression rates among teenagers rose from 8.7 to 12.7 percent between 2005 and 2015.
Though anyone can experience depression, the teenage years come with a unique set of challenges that can amplify the mental illness. Teens are often faced with school, social and family pressures, as well as hormonal changes due to puberty.
Signs of depression in teens are numerous and can include persistent feelings of sadness, loss of energy or appetite, social isolation, low self-esteem, angry behavior, poor grades in school, self-harm, suicidal feelings or drug and alcohol abuse.
If you are a teen and you feel as though you have depression, there are things you can do to help your situation. Try to make new friends or join a new club or sport. Doing so can increase your self-esteem, keep you busy (so you cannot dwell on the negative feelings), and prevent you from becoming isolated.
However, if your depression persists and does not improve, then you should talk to an adult that you trust. A trusted adult can help you choose your best course of action. Therapy is a good option because a therapist can help you understand the underlying reasons why you are depressed, and he or she can help you create a specific course of action to address it.
Depression in teens is on the rise, so it is important to be aware of the signs and to know what to look for. Ignoring it will not make it go away, and untreated depression can have severe consequences, including suicide. If you are a teen who is depressed, remember that there are resources available for you.