Adolescent depression is a disorder that affects teenagers. It leads to sadness, discouragement, and a loss of self-worth and interest in their usual activities.
Depression can change the way teenagers see themselves, their lives, and the people around them. Teenagers who are depressed usually see everything more negatively. They can’t imagine that any problem or situation can be solved in a positive way.
Some or all of these symptoms of depression may be present:
- Appetite changes (usually a loss of appetite but sometimes an increase)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty making decisions
- Episodes of memory loss
- Feeling upset, restless, and irritable
- Feeling worthless, hopeless, sad, or self-hatred
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once fun
- Thinking or talking about suicide or death
- Trouble sleeping, too much sleeping, or daytime sleepiness
Sometimes a person’s behavior may change, or there may be problems at home or school without any symptoms of depression:
- Acting-out behaviors (missing curfews, unusual defiance)
- Criminal behavior (such as shoplifting)
- Irresponsible behavior
- Poor school performance, grades dropping
- Pulling away from family and friends, spending more time alone
- Use of alcohol or other illegal substances
If these symptoms last for at least 2 weeks and affect your mood or ability to function, get treatment.