Stress and depressed moods are a normal part of the life of teens. Worrying about an upcoming test and losing some sleep over it, or feeling sad without any reason, is normal and temporary. As teens transition into adulthood, the pressures and conflicts they encounter can easily seem overwhelming to them, but they can be reassured and comforted.
However, teens with anxiety or depression experience extreme emotions that cannot easily be comforted and lead to unhealthy responses and issues in engaging in and completing daily tasks.
The signs associated with anxiety or depression are:
- Fears and extreme worry about routine parts of their day
- Dramatic changes in behavior such as, irritability, avoiding school, sports, or social activities, and a drop in grades
- Trouble sleeping or concentrating
- Substance use or other risky behaviors
- Physical symptoms such as, lethargy, headaches, and stomachaches
- Sad or irritable mood more often than not
- Not enjoying things they would usually enjoy
- Dramatic change in weight or eating
- Avoiding family and friends
- Sleeping too much during the day
- Lack of energy to complete daily tasks
- Feelings of worthlessness or low self-esteem
- Not caring about the future
- Frequent thoughts of death or suicide
- Aches and pains
Are you worried that something you are seeing in your teen’s behavior could be related to anxiety or depression?
Many of these signs can occur in teens who are not anxious or depressed. However, if you are noticing a number of these signs almost everyday that is a red flag that there is more going on.
If your teen is willing to talk about what they are experiencing it is best to listen carefully and without discounting their feelings. If that doesn’t feel like enough or if it is hard for your teen to open up and their daily life is severely impacted, counseling may be the next step. In many cases, counseling is effective in addressing the issues the teen is facing and helps them to develop a corrective approach to the problems they are facing.
If you and your teen are ready to take that next step, we are here to help. Please contact us at 605-275-0009 to schedule an appointment.