Adolescence can be a time of uncertainty, not only for your daughter, but for you as well. A child who was recently fun-loving, involved in a variety of activities, and seemingly well-adjusted can flounder as they approach adolescence. Because this can be such a time of change and upheaval, parents can sometimes mistake depressive symptoms for hormonal changes, and attribute them to adolescence. Of course, the danger in this is that the teen can suffer, needlessly, if they meet the criteria for depression but don’t receive the assistance they need to effectively manage distressing symptoms.
What to Look For
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, if the following symptoms are present during the same 2 week period, it could be an indication that your daughter struggles with a depressive condition.
- Sad, dejected, or irritable mood
- Diminished enjoyment of activities she used to find pleasure in
- Significant change in appetite, weight, and/or amount of sleep needed
- Lacking energy or fatigued frequently
- Expressing feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness
- Demonstrating a decreased ability to concentrate or make decisions
- Expressing suicidal thoughts
Why it’s important to recognize these symptoms
Although most of these symptoms can occur, at times, in adolescence, they become a cause for concern when they occur for most of the day, for more days than not, and cause significant distress or impairment in social, educational or occupational functioning. If your daughter has begun to refuse to complete school assignments, or attend school at all, isolates herself from others, and fails to maintain basic hygiene expectations due to lack of energy, this may be an indication that she would benefit from assessment by a mental health professional. Effective treatment may include healthy lifestyle changes, individual therapy, group therapy and/or medication.
Trinity Teen Solutions offers caring Licensed Professional Counselors, who are experienced at treating depression while investing in your daughter’s overall well-being.