Teen Mental Health: Symptoms of Major Depression
Depression is a very real and very serious part of adolescence ... and something to watch for in kids. Since depression is very much a "feeling," it might be hard for you to recognize if your child is depressed. Share this list of symptoms with your child. If he feels four or more of them, if nothing can make them go away and if they last more than two weeks, it's important to get your child to a doctor, counselor or therapist ASAP.
Persistent sad or "empty" mood.
Feeling hopeless, helpless, worthless, pessimistic and/or guilty.
Fatigue or loss of interest in ordinary activities.
Disturbances in eating and sleeping patterns.
Irritability, increased crying, anxiety and panic attacks.
Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions.
Thoughts of suicide; suicide plans or attempts.*
Persistent physical symptoms or pains that do not respond to treatment.
*Pass along the following 24-hour toll-free national hotlines to your child and let him know that if he ever has suicidal thoughts, he should get help right now.
National Hopeline Network: (800) SUICIDE (800-784-2433)
Covenant House Nineline: (800) 999-9999
Girls and Boys Town National Hotline: (800) 448-3000