Teenage Depression – Signs & Symptoms

Teenagers face a host of pressures, from the changes of puberty to questions about who they are and where they fit in. With all this turmoil and uncertainty, it isn’t always easy to differentiate between depression and normal teenage growing pains. But teen depression goes beyond moodiness. It’s a serious health problem that impacts every aspect of a teen’s life. Fortunately, it’s treatable and parents can help. Your support can go a long way toward getting your teenager back on track.

Signs and symptoms of teenage depression

Unlike adults, who have the ability to seek assistance on their own, teenagers rely on parents, teachers, or other caregivers to recognize their suffering and get them the help they need. So if you have an adolescent in your life, it’s important to learn what teen depression looks like and what to do if you spot the warning signs.

While it might seem that recognizing depression is easy, the signs aren’t always obvious. For one, teens with depression don’t necessarily appear sad. Irritability, anger, and agitation may be the most prominent symptoms

  • Sadness or hopelessness
  • Irritability, anger, or hostility
  • Tearfulness or frequent crying
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Poor school performance
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • Lack of enthusiasm and motivation
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

If you think your teenager may be suffering from depression, our expert & caring team of medical professionals can help them feel better. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

Ways Cats Are Great Therapy for Anxiety or Depression in Children

In many cases, depression in children stems from underlying anxiety issues. In fact, 1 out of 8 children in America will be affected by anxiety disorders to some degree.

Many studies have shown that cats (or dogs!) can reduce the symptoms of depression in children, making it easier for children and adults alike to overcome daily challenges. If you have the joy of sharing your home with a feline friend, you know they make great companions and unknowingly offer their relentless therapeutic care for us.

1. Unconditional friendship

Cats just love. They don’t ask for anything in return or judge us. For a child that can be struggling with anxiety due to complicated social situations in school with friends, coming home to a loving cat can be the best remedy.

2. Distraction

If one of your childs depression symptoms or anxiety is excessive worrying, it can be difficult to turn off those thoughts. Playing with a playful kitten is a great way to distract ones mind, and is definitely a mood-booster!

3. Responsibility and routine

Anxiety often leaves us feeling out of control, so a sense of routine and responsbility that comes with caring for a cat can provide a child with a purpose. The daily tasks required for a cat are perfect for a child to handle, such as feeding twice a day, scooping the litter box, grooming, and just making sure they get love and attention! This new role your child has can help give them a little direction towards not feeling depressed or anxious.

4. Social comfort

If an anxious or depressed child is having trouble socializing with others, a cat is a great way to nudge them into more social situations. Often times if another child sees a pet, they are intrigued and excited. Since the child is already comfortable with their cat, they may feel more confident when playing together with their pet and a new friend.

5. Physical contact and touch

Physical touch is healing for everyone. Sometimes children with anxiety or depression require extra reassurance and hugs. As parents or caregivers, we can certainly provide this, but the touch and acceptance of a furry friend is extra-healing. This is why it’s important that your child interact with a cat who enjoys being held.

Does your family have a pet that provides therapeutic relief to your children? Share in the comments below how your furry friend brings your kids happiness in times of struggle!

If your child is struggling with anxiety or depression, Delray Beach childrens therapy can provide them with the additional care they may need to overcome it. Contact us today to set up an appointment!


Symptoms of Depression in Children

Though uncommon and affecting only about 2% of kids, depression in children does occur and should not be overlooked.

Childhood depression is not just occasional sadness, but rather symptoms that last for weeks, months, or even years if no treatment is received.

Additional symptoms of childhood depression include:

  • Irritability or anger.
  • Continuous feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
  • Social withdrawal.
  • Increased sensitivity to rejection.
  • Changes in appetite — either increased or decreased.
  • Changes in sleep — sleeplessness or excessive sleep.
  • Vocal outbursts or crying.

If you think your child is struggling with depression, our expert team of childrens therapy in Delray Beach is able to assist your family. Contact us today to set up your initial appointment with one of our caring doctors.