It can be difficult to tell depression from normal teen moodiness. It is recommended that when signs of depression occur suddenly or in combination with each other, it may need to be evaluated more seriously by a professional.
If you suspect your teen may be struggling with depression symptoms, let them know you are concerned in an honest, caring way. Communicate your concerns without judgment, as there is no single known cause of depression. Some types of depression tend to run in families, suggesting a genetic link. However, depression can occur in people without family histories of depression as well.
Ask your teen to explore their symptoms and feelings with a counselor or physician who deals with depression. Depressive illnesses are disorders of the brain. The parts of the brain responsible for regulating mood, thinking, sleep, appetite and behavior appear to function abnormally, and your teen may need medication to assist.
Explore with your teen reasons they may feel the way they do. Trauma, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or any stressful situation may trigger a depressive episode. Subsequent depressive episodes may occur with or without an obvious trigger.
If your teen is not ready to listen, don’t give up! Let your teen know you are there to provide support and listen when they are ready.