Adolescent Depression: By the Numbers
As anyone who has lived through it can attest, adolescence is a very trying and troubling time. That said, it should come as no surprise that adolescents in America are currently living through a depressive illness epidemic. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, as many as one in five teens - approximately 8 million American teens - suffer from a depressive illness at some point in their young lives.
If that number seems high, that’s because it is.
What makes this demographic of 8 million teens even more disconcerting is that as of May 2018, suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens (15-25).
ATTENTION PARENTS: IT Is Paramount That You Learn to Recognize the Warning Signs of Depression!
Parents of teens need to be made aware of the potential warning signs of depression. Failure to recognize depression in a teen could result in tragic, even fatal, consequences.
On that note, we - at Monuments TC - have provided the following article for parents to read and digest. It is our hope that after reading this article parents are further able to identify a potential depressive disorder within their troubled teenage boy’s vulnerable psyche.
Potential Warning Signs of Teenage Depression
Persistent Feelings of anxiety
It is common for teens suffering from depression to also suffer from a co-occurring anxiety disorder. This added anxiety is mostly due to the fact that depressed teens have a difficult time handling other complex emotions such as anxiety.
Note to Parents: If you notice that your son is having an increasingly difficult time managing his stress, it could be due to an undiagnosed depressive disorder.
Frequent physical symptoms (headaches etc.)
Due to the stressful nature of depression (such as dealing with depression induced-anxiety), severely depressed teens are known to experience physical pain, such as stress-induced headaches and other bodily discomforts.
Withdrawing from normal activities -
It is not uncommon for depressed teens to seemingly all of a sudden, lose interest in activities and social engagements they were once passionate about.
Note to parents: If you notice that your son appears to feel indifferent towards activities or social engagements they would otherwise enjoy, it may be time to seek immediate psychiatric treatment for your child.
Feelings of anger or frustration -
Suffering from depression can be a rather frustrating condition to try and deal with on your own. Furthermore, if a teenage boy becomes increasingly frustrated over minimal circumstances, it could be symptomatic of a depressive disorder.
Continuously expressing anger is also conducive to depression and can manifest if a frustrated and depressed teen fails to receive treatment, or least of all, recognition for having a critically undiagnosed mental illness.
Issues in school -
Depression can affect a teen’s ability to concentrate in school, regardless of their intellect. A sudden drop in academic performance may be depression-related.
Extreme or uncharacteristic feelings of fatigue -
The high-stress levels that come along with depression can leave an adolescent completely drained causing them to appear exhausted.
Abnormal eating habits -
For some depressed boys, depressive symptoms can manifest in the form of abnormal eating habits.