At Sundance Canyon Academy, we have helped countless students overcome depression and learn to live healthy lives. Each student receives personalized treatment plans, including therapy sessions to address their emotional needs and life skills training to learn healthy coping skills. If your teen son suffers from depression, contact us today to find out if our school could help him.
While your kid is going through their teenage years, you can expect them to be a little moody. The rush of hormones and growth spurts can make teens physically uncomfortable. During these years, they’re also learning to branch out and develop more in-depth social relationships. Sometimes those relationships are great, and sometimes they don’t go so well.
On top of everything else, teens have a lot expected of them. When we reminisce about our high school years, we sometimes gloss over the pressure of school.
Between schoolwork, homework, and extracurricular activities, teens have a lot to balance. Sometimes, trying to maintain that balancing act can result in extra moodiness. However, there’s an important distinction between regular teenage moodiness and teenage depression.
Teen moodiness vs. teen depression
Most teens will experience some emotional ups and downs throughout their school years. As they move through social groups and start developing romantic interests, you can expect some happy days along with some sad days. That’s normal adolescent behavior and comes with the territory of having a teenager.
Similarly, you might see some ups and downs based on your teen’s goals and achievements. If they are doing well in class or their extracurricular activities, they will likely be a little happier. If they fail a test or lose a big game, they might be sadder. Again, these are normal emotional fluctuations for teens.
Teenage depression is different. Teens with depression don’t fluctuate from happy to sad as frequently, and there might not be an apparent reason for the way they feel. If you think that your teen’s moodiness might be depression, look for a few of the key indicators.
Signs of teenage depression
Not caring about things they used to care about. This could include responsibilities like grades, housework, or even personal hygiene. It could also mean dropping out of a sport they used to love or removing themselves from friend groups they used to enjoy. Teens who suddenly seem apathetic could be struggling with depression.
Significant changes in daily habits. This could include changes in sleeping or eating patterns. You might notice that your teen seems to be gaining or losing weight unexpectedly. They might be tired all the time from lack of sleep, or they might sleep all the time if given a chance. If your teen has significantly changed their daily habits without a specific reason, they could be depressed.
Substance use or abuse. Teen depression is hard. It’s uncomfortable, and most teens would rather not feel the way depression makes them feel. Some teens turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of dulling the negative feelings of depression.
Feeling hopeless. Moodiness in teens comes and goes. Teens who struggle with depression often feel hopeless. It may seem to them like life is pointless or like they will fail no matter how hard they try. Take note if your teen expresses feelings of hopelessness or feels like a failure.
Talking about suicide. If your teen is talking about suicide, you should take it very seriously. You can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 anytime, day or night. They can provide you with guidance at the moment. You should also talk to a healthcare professional to get more long-term help for your teen. If you are worried that your teen’s moodiness might be depression, bring it up with your child’s doctor. They should be able to answer your questions and give you some pointers.
Some teens with depression may benefit from attending a therapeutic boarding school to get the one-on-one attention they need. For more information about our school, call us at 866-224-2733.