Signs of teen depression

Signs of teen depression are important to recognize as the earlier the depression is caught the easier it is to treat and have positive outcomes.

The tricky part is your child is not likely going to speak about feeling depressed. Your first warning signs will be changes in behavior that may suggest a they are more sad than the circumstances seem to warrant. A child who was active and involved may suddenly become quiet and withdrawn. Or a parent might notice an A  student suddenly starts getting poor grades.


Some of the common signs of depression can occur when school, social or family pressures become too great and over a period of time their coping breaks down. Do not assume that your child is experiencing a major depression if they show any one of these signs. Many of the signs of depression considered independantly can be considered to be a normal part of growing up. 

However, if there is more than one sign your child may be depressed and need professional help. Take into consideration if there are unexplained changes in their behaviour or  you notice several of the following signs of depression:

  • Changes in Feelings: Signs of worry, guilt, sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, rejection
  • Changes in physical appearance
  • Major weight loss or weight gain
  • Changes in energy levels
  • Sleeping problems
  • Eating issues
  • Just feeling tired all the time
  • difficulty concentrating
  • Expression of dislike of self or self blame
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Crying easily
  • withdrawal from activities in general and especially activities previously enjoyed.
  • loss of interest in hobbies and special interests
  • Common complaints of headaches, stomach pains or just general aches and pains

Getting help and support

If your child is displaying all or even of few of these signs they may be depressed. You can call a psychiatrist to confirm or decline a professional diagnosis. See your family physician for a referral if need be.

If the child is seriously suicidal you should take them to the hospital as teens have been known to commit suicide if depressed also known as bullycide if bullying is the reason. 

Don't forget you as a parent need support too.

You can Hire a life coach to be your support and guide as you help your child.

In Canada you can visit the Canadian Mental Health Association. They generally have an intake worker who can help immediately.

At the very least talk to your partner or a friend to make sure you do not fall victim to depression as well.

We can all watch for the signs of teen depression and prevent it from escalating.

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More suggested reading:

Teen depression

Dealing with Bullying

Stop Bullying

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