As many as 20% of teens will suffer from depression having met the criteria of 6 months duration. As parents we need to identify these symptoms and signs and know how to address them quickly. Early intervention allow the individual to cope with their feelings effectively and to return to a more comfortable life. Children & adolescents may not be able to effectively communicate their sad thoughts as maybe adults would. If your child or adolescent has poor sleep, withdrawal from others, low energy, low self esteem, irritability,or any physical manifestations of recurrent abdominal pain, headaches, or easy distractibility, consider depression as a potential diagnosis. Further investigate any identifiable causes for their grief. Medications and/or psychological intervention may be warranted to get your loved one back on track. Always consider aggravating factors for depression and rule out chronic illnesses, hormonal changes, drug use, sexuality issues, sexual or physical abuse concerns, girlfriend/boyfriend problems, family crisis, that led to this desperate situation. Warning: depression is the 3rd leading cause of death in adolescence.
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