Understanding Teenage Depression

Dr. Jorge Galindo is licensed marriage, family, and child therapist who operates a private practice in Irvine, California. Dr. Jorge Galindo works alongside his wife, Dr. Miriam Galindo, while treating issues that range from domestic abuse to depression.

It is quite common for teenagers and adolescents to experience periods of moodiness and angst. Unfortunately, this can make identifying a depressive episode difficult. Studies have shown that heightened levels of agitation are not, in fact, a primary symptom of depression in teens, though any occurrence of anxiety or mood swings that last for multiple weeks should be explored by parents and guardians. Similarly, as they enter their teenage years, children begin to require more sleep, another hallmark of depression in adults. Irregular sleep patterns in teenagers may warrant concern, however, if their school performance begins to suffer or they lose interest in former hobbies.

Though teenage depression appears more commonly in girls than in boys, there is no stereotypical victim of depression. Parents of a gifted athlete or social butterfly should be just as vigilant in identifying troubling behavior as those of a more reserved child. Finally, depression often appears in teenagers as an aspect of a larger issue, such as a general anxiety disorder. The most important thing to remember is that these afflictions can be treated and should not be a source of embarrassment or shame.

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