Young ladies in their teens can often experience depression symptoms that are almost imperceptible at first, but eventually grow to the point that loved ones find it hard to understand what is happening. Fortunately, knowing what to look for can lead to diagnosis early on, and make it possible to deal with the depression before it takes over the teenager’s life. Here are some of the more common symptoms of depression in teenage girls, and what to do when they appear.
One of the first signs of teenage depression is a noticeable loss of interest in activities and people that the young lady formally enjoyed. This can include such signs as a drop in grades, growing tired of a best friend, or suddenly deciding that activities with family members are not worth her time. It is not uncommon for teen girls to seek out others who also manifest the same disdain for similar activities, which only serves to further remove the girl from her family and longtime friends. As the depression deepens, she is likely to spend more and more time alone, as being around people becomes too much of a strain.
Along with withdrawing from the familiar, there is a good chance that the teenage girl suffering with depression will become extremely negative. This often first manifests itself as irritability with little things others do, and quickly progresses to outright hostility. As it becomes harder to feel any emotion other than anger, there is a good chance she will find herself without any real hope, and not ability to dream of anything better. With this increasing sense of futility with self and with everything around here, the teenager is like to begin having trouble sleeping and find it hard to concentrate in school or even during a simple conversation.
As the depression deepens, many teenage girls turn to self-mutilation, a phenomenon that is sometimes known as cutting. This involves using sharp object to inflict small wounds on the body. At first, the girl is likely to choose a spot that is covered with clothing. However, as the depression worsens, she is likely to care less about who sees the scars, and begins to cut herself in places like the forearms or shins.
One of the symptoms of depression in teenage girls that tends to come to the fore after these other symptoms have appeared is guilt. On some level, the teenager knows something is wrong. Often, she thinks that if she can just snap out of it, she will be fine. When she can’t, thoughts of dying, or possibly committing suicide, may emerge. It is important for those around her to understand that this is not a matter of being able to just decide to not be depressed anymore. In order to recover, she will need love, support, and professional care.
While many antidepressants taken by adults are not recommended for children, a competent doctor can assess the general condition of the teenager, and help create a treatment plan that will help the young lady begin to regain control of her life. This will often include a combination of medication, diet, and counseling. During this period of treatment and recovery, the support of loved ones and members of her peer group will be extremely important. Depending on the severity of the depression, it may take months for the teenage girl to recover. Just as the symptoms appeared one by one, they will also fade and finally disappear over time. While it may seem impossible at times, a teenage girl can overcome depression, and get back to the business of enjoying school, her friends, and her family.