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Teenage Depression – What is It and What Can I Do to Help My Child? Teenage depression is not something to be taken lightly. While it is to be expected that the teenage years will give rise to a whole host of problems, depression in teenagers is a much more serious issue. What is Teenage Depression? Depression amongst teenagers normally manifests itself as an overpowering feeling of sadness, despair or anger. Although teenagers are generally prone to moodiness and difficult behavior, it is also normal for these negative factors to be balanced out by a range of positive ones such as the development of strong stable friendships and success in sports or at school. A teenager suffering from depression, on the other hand, will not experience such a mix of highs and lows. Unfortunately, their ‘lows’ will have a much more permanent character. Effects The effects of Teenage depression may be much more than simply feeling down all the time. This overwhelming feeling of sadness can give rise to a variety of destructive behaviors such as drug abuse, violence and loss of self esteem which can have lasting consequences. Is my child suffering? Knowing whether your teenager is suffering from depression or simply undergoing the normal trials of teenage life can be very tricky indeed. Even though the main characteristic of Teenage Depression is an overwhelming feeling of sadness, it is not uncommon for a teenager suffering from depression to show no outward signs of being sad. Anger issues, irritability and aggression are in many cases more of an indicator of depression than sadness. Other symptoms of depression in teenagers may include withdrawal, loss of interest and restlessness among many other things. However, in assessing whether a teenager is suffering from depression, the symptoms themselves are not as important as the following considerations:   

How long has symptom been there? How severe is it? How different is the teenager acting from his/her normal self?

What to do? Thankfully, Teenage Depression is highly treatable, for example, by using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. However, only one in five teenagers suffering from depression actually receives any help. Since teenagers normally rely on adults to seek assistance for them, the most important part is therefore distinguishing between depression and other problems such as anger issues or normal teenage


moodiness. If you do suspect your child to be suffering from depression, it is important to confront the issue and talk to them about it. You may find it helpful to present them with this useful guide to help them understand the severity of the issue. However, most importantly, if you think that your child may be suffering from Teenage depression, seek professional help immediately. Westwood Family Counseling Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a proven treatment for depression in all ages. If the issues raised in this article concern you, get in touch today on 310 471-2500 or http://www.westwoodfamilycounseling.com. Don’t let Teenage Depression go untreated.


TEENAGE DEPRESSION