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The symptoms of depression can appear during adolescence and may include changes in sleep patterns, appetite, and weight.
Depression:Feelings of despair, hopelessness, sadness, and worthlessness may also appear. Other signs include social withdrawal, trouble concentrating or remembering, suicidal thoughts or actions, and medically unexplained symptoms.
When mental-health professionals suspect depression, they usually look for groups of symptoms that persist for weeks and that disrupt a person’s everyday life.
According to JW, here are a few things parents can do to assist their children:
1. Recognize that depressed teens may find it hard to express their feelings or may not understand what is happening to them. They may not even be aware of the symptoms of depression.
2. Teens tend to express their depression in ways different from those of adults, so be alert to major changes in your child’s behavior, eating habits, moods, sleep patterns, or social interactions—especially if the changes persist for weeks.
3. Take seriously any comments or hints regarding suicide.
4. If you suspect depression (not just the blues), consider getting a professional diagnosis.
5. Help your teen adhere to the doctor’s prescribed treatment, and consult the doctor if you see no improvement or observe unpleasant side effects.
6. Have a stable family routine for eating, exercising, and sleeping.
7. Maintain good communication with your teen, and help him or her to deal with any stigma associated with depression.
Because depression can make one feel alone, ashamed, or worthless, regularly reassure your teen of your love.