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Symptoms of Depression in Teens

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Irritability and unhappiness among teenagers may be the result of depression. Although the mental disorder is typically associated with older, more stressed-out individuals, depression is just as likely among younger people (though it may occur less often) as it is in fully grown adults.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the following may all be warning signs of depression in teenagers:

• apathy
• complaints of pains, including headaches, stomachaches, low back pain, or fatigue
• difficulty concentrating
• difficulty making decisions
• excessive or inappropriate guilt
• irresponsible behavior -- for example, forgetting obligations, being late for classes, skipping school
• loss of interest in food or compulsive overeating that results in rapid weight loss or gain
• memory loss
• preoccupation with death and dying
• rebellious behavior
• sadness, anxiety, or a feeling of hopelessness
• staying awake at night and sleeping during the day
• sudden drop in grades
• use of alcohol or drugs and promiscuous sexual activity
• withdrawal from friends

Any parent concerned that their teen is showing one or more of the aforementioned signs of depression should contact a trained specialist who can offer a concrete diagnosis on the matter. The key thing to remember, however, is that depression is a very treatable, very manageable condition. So long as there is a will, finding a way to medicate a depressed teenager (or provide them with talk therapy/natural remedies) is the easy part.

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