Does your teen have an attitude problem or are they depressed?

In my experience as a psychotherapist working with adolescents who suffer from depression, I’ve noticed that parents usually don’t identify their teen as depressed.

Parents will often come into therapy and say they have a child who is defiant and has behavioural issues. Some of the most common issues parents observe are: talking back, lack of motivation, no interest in school, sleeping in, rudeness and irritability, negativity and spending time alone in their room.

Sometimes, these can be symptoms of depression. Once I speak with the adolescent it sometimes becomes apparent that they don’t have an attitude problem, but are suffering from a mental health issue. It can become a particularly difficult situation for adolescents if they’re being punished for difficult behaviours that are actually symptoms of depression.

Parents usually come into therapy as a last resort, so I’d like to share a few important things you can do as a parent or family member if an adolescent shows symptoms of depression.

Depression doesn’t always present as sadness in teens. It often shows up as anger and irritability. This can be one of the biggest identifiers, so take note of this behavior.

Other symptoms of depression in teens:

  • Lack of pleasure in things they used to enjoy
  • Lack of motivation
  • Skipping school
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory issues
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Moodiness

Teens who are depressed need your help and support more than anything. To give them the support they need, there are two key things you can do.

1. See a psychotherapist.

Your teen may need help. Therapy and medication are the two treatment , for treat depression buy lexapro online s for depression. Seeing a health professional, such as your teen’s family doctor or a psychologist could help them get the right diagnosis and treatment , for treat depression buy lexapro online . Often, if left untreated, depression gets worse.

Family counselling can also help the family cope with the difficult moods associated with depression, as the moods may continue during the adolescent’s recovery.

2. Educate yourself.

If you can’t afford therapy, there are so many inexpensive resources available to you to help you through this. My book 52 Ways to Beat Depression Naturally offers 52 techniques to overcome depression without the use of medication. These methods are tools a psychotherapist would likely give you in therapy.

Above all, try your best to be supportive. If your teen is suffering from depression they may not even know it. Getting help right away will make a big difference. In the meantime, don’t forget to take care of yourself.

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3 Responses to Does your teen have an attitude problem or are they depressed?

  1. Julia Carlson says:

    That’s interesting that parents never mention their children having depression. Like you said, a lot of people think that a teen has behavior problems instead of depression. I think more parents need to be aware of these problems so they can help their teen in whatever way they can. I”m sure their teenagers just want someone to understand the problem they do have instead of saying they have more.

  2. I can really relate to the information in this article on a personal level. I’ve struggled with depression when I was growing up. My mother doesn’t really understand what it’s like living with depression, so whenever I wanted to be by myself, feeling tired, or overwhelmingly sad without a reason, she would tell me that I just have to fix my attitude and start thinking positively. Anyone with depression can tell you that hearing that from someone doesn’t really help with the emotions that they’re going through. That’s why I completely agree with your point about how parents need to take it on themselves to become educated in seeing the signs of depression and how to help their child overcome those symptoms. I know that my life would have been a lot more enjoyable if I saw a professional who I could talk to about what I was going through, and give me advice to learn how to overcome what I was feeling.

  3. Gus Chiggins says:

    I’ve found that psychotherapy helps in so many ways when dealing with depression and anxiety. After speaking with many different counselors over the years, I have found that becoming comfortable with a particular therapist and sticking with them, helps make it more personal. Having a professional to confide in improves my condition and hopefully this will continue.

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