Is your child fighting battles on his own? Teenage years can be tough for both boys and girls. Check for signs and causes of depression in your child. Let them know that they are not alone.
Teen depression or depression in teenagers is very much on the rise. India is leading the world in teen depression. And yet, most of us are still ignoring it and consider it a taboo.
The problem at hand is very serious as every 1 out of 4 teenagers in India is suffering from depression, according to a leading news source. About 1 student or teenager in India commits suicide every hour.
Over 40,000 teenagers committed suicide in the last 5 years in India and more than 8000 students committed suicide in India in the last year.
The need of the hour is to come out of this stigma and talk it out with our children. Because they are Fragile and trying to deal with this pressure alone.
The gravity of the situation is so much so that suicide rates in India among teenagers has increased by more than 33% in past decade.
From Academics to sports camp, and from habits to looks there could be multiple reasons that can be identified as causes of depression among teenagers.
Causes of Depression in Teenagers
- Academic pressure
- Fear of rejection
- Bullying at school
- Physical changes
- The feeling of loneliness
- Pressure to perform
- Social Media
- Inability to make friends
- Obsession of having good looks
We all want our children to excel in Academics. The highly competitive environment creates additional pressure from family or peer groups or teachers to perform at academics. The willingness to push the extra mile, to live up to others’ expectations may lead to teen depression.
Fear of Rejection
Many times, when children practice too hard for something, they tend to believe that result is everything, which often is not the case.
For example, the pressure of selection into a sports team is huge or tremendous for a child who gives his best to it. If they are not selected, that might lead to teen depression.
In such situations, we need to make them understand that the learnings they get from failures are equally important.
Bullying at school
Pranks sometimes can get too serious. A child continuously being the victim of ‘pranks’ at school, can have self-destruction thoughts and needs to paid attention to.
Make sure, your children are willing to talk about things happening at school.
A lot of physical changes happen during the adolescent years, which leads to a change in mood, and behavior. These years are a tough part of growing up.
Not being able to explain such issues can be frustrating for both boys and girls. Some children may feel alone and depressed because of it.
Feeling of loneliness
“I found that with depression, one of the most important things you could realize is that you’re not alone.”
— Dwayne Johnson
At teenage, we try to be at our best to be accepted by certain groups and when that doesn’t happen, the sense of not being accepted is overwhelming. This may affect their self-esteem.
Also, Teenagers when exposed to bad relationships or breakups, tend to feel lonely which can be depressing for some teenagers.
Family plays a major role in such cases as they become the primary support system for the child.
Pressure to perform
Nowadays, they are expected to perform in every situation or competition. This highly competitive environment can push to depression in teenagers.
Social media has become an inseparable part of the life of students and even younger children. They are usually judged by their friends and peers upon uploading a pic or a video on social media. So they are under constant pressure to look good wherein they seek acceptance.
The constant stress and pressure may lead some children to depression.
Inability to make friends
Some people find it easy to make friends and for some, it is the hardest part of their lives. They fear to go to new schools, new places, or joining a new hobby.
When they feel they are unable to be around people they like or love this creates a feeling of self-doubt. This can ultimately result in depression.
Obsession with having good looks
Teenagers or students envy their friends or peers for good looks and other things. This is exaggerated by social media that play a big role in your child’s life.
If this desire becomes an obsession, they may have an inferiority complex, which in turn can impact their lives in a lot of serious ways.
The causes may seem “too trivial” to adults but the resulting trauma is multi-fold.
One of the main reasons which stop an adult from reaching out to students or teenagers is that they think the above causes are not worth discussing. We need to come out of the shell and break this stigma.
Because the numbers are staggering in case of suicides and self-harm in teenagers or students. This could be happening in your society, neighborhood, or home. If you find someone with the following symptoms, do reach out to them.
Please note that Signs and symptoms are different.
Signs are observed by other people whereas symptoms can be felt only by the person having it.
Signs of depression in Teenagers
- Difficult to concentrate on schoolwork
- Lack of focus during extra curricular
- Excess fatigue or Restlessness during the day
- Teenagers are unable to sleep during nights if suffering
- Temptation or urge to self-harm
- Thoughts of running away from family or friends
- Day on day decreasing confidence
- Dwelling of negative thoughts
If you are seeing any of the above signs you should talk it out with your family.
The issue may seem negligible or may not seem worth discussing as of now but it could result in a serious problems.
If someone in your family or neighborhood shows the following symptoms, try to talk to them and see if they need advice from a health professional.
Symptoms of depression in Teenagers
- Wanting to withdraw from family and friends
- Loss of appetite
- You may feel lost or tired all the time
- You may feel irritated at everything
Important Note: The symptoms might not look dangerous right now but can result lead to isolation or in the worst case self-harm or suicide if not treated properly.
So, if you are observing these signs, then you should visit a Psychologist or seek a mental health professional.