June 24, 2017

Top 10 Signs of Depression in Teenage Girls

Depression is a difficult disease to manage; it is even more difficult when the person suffering from the disease is a teenage girl.  Statistics show that women are diagnosed with depression twice as much as men; unfortunately this means that teenage girls are often greatly impacted by the disease as well.

The adolescent years are already filled with fluctuating emotions to go along with the hormonal changes experienced during this phase of life.  Because of this it is not always easy to see that a teenage girl is actually depressed or is just going through the normal issues that come along with being a teenager.

While roughly 1 in 8 teenagers are affected by depression, the disease shows itself differently in girls than with boys.

Top 10 Signs of Depression in Teenage Girls

Below are the top 10 signs to look for when determining whether or not a teen girl is suffering from depression:

1.  Irritability – Clearly, irritability is something that most teenagers experience; but if that irritability is more pronounced and frequent it can also be a sign of an underlying depression.

2.  Self-mutilation – A teenage girl suffering from depression may self-mutilate as searches for a way to physically feel the pain she is dealing with internally.

3.  Drop in grades – An unexplained drop in her grades is certainly a sign of depression in a teenage girl.  A girl can go from being on the honor roll one semester, to barely being able to pass her classes in the next if she is depressed.

4.  Change of appetite – A teenage girl who has a drastic change in the way she eats could also be depressed.  This will be visible because she will either gain or lose weight based on the change in her eating habits.

5.  Isolation – A girl who is typically very social who begins to withdraw and isolate herself may be depressed.  A teenage girl has a group of friends with whom she normally likes hanging out, who suddenly wants to be by herself

6.  Ongoing sadness – If a girl is sad for an extended period of time, depression might be the culprit.  The ongoing sadness could lead to a lack of hope for her future as well.

7.  Low self-esteem – A teenage girl may be depressed if she is overly critical of herself and finds is difficult to feel good about herself in general.  All of this may be accompanied by an overall feeling of worthlessness making her feel as if she isn’t “good enough” in her own mind.

8.  Thoughts of suicide – Any thoughts surrounding death and dying are definite signs which point toward depression.

9.  Anger – Teen girls often have uncontrollable anger when they are depressed; this anger can be directed toward the self, but is often directed outward toward other when depressed.

10.  Loss of energy – A teenage girl may have been very active in activities both inside and out of school; if she suddenly speaks of being too tired to do the things she normally does, it can be a sign that something is wrong.

Cause for Depression in Teenage Girls

For teen girls depression is often brought on by a specific trauma they have gone through.  It could be the death of someone close (like a parent, sibling or best friend).

In addition, depression in young women could also be related to feeling like an outsider among her peers.  A teenage girl with issues socially can find this more difficult to deal with than if she were an adult.  Since “fitting in” is so important in the mind of a girl teen if she doesn’t feel as if she is fitting in, it can lead to depression.

Unfortunately, substance abuse is also a possible cause of depression in teenage girls.  Those girls who abuse any type of drug or alcohol have an increased risk of being diagnosed as clinically depressed.

Genetics could also play a role in causing a teenage girl to become depressed.  A look at the girl’s family history could show that she is more prone to be affected by depression.  Biologically as a developing young woman, there are also certain hormonal issues surrounding beginning her menstruation which can trigger depression.

Treatment is Necessary

It is important to treat depression in a teenage girl who has it; if it goes untreated there can be severe consequences.  The depression can go from not only affecting her in her teen  years but stretch into her adult life as well.

The female in question may end up with a diagnosis of chronic depression which comes with its own set of risks.  In addition, unchecked depression in teenage girls can create difficulty in terms of their being able to transition successfully to the next phase of life (adulthood).

Depression Teenage GirlDepression Treatment Options for Teenage Girls

Keep in mind prescribing antidepressants for those who are under the age of 18 is seen as a risk due to the potential side effects.  Because of this, prescription medication will not be the initial go-to treatment option like it is for adults.  Instead medication would be turned to only as a last resort for teen girls.

More often than not a physician will recommend psychotherapy as the best course of treatment.  Being able to talk through her issues is exactly what a young woman with depression needs and has a high success rate for teen girls.

A teenage girl with depression may feel like the adults in her life are unable or unwilling to listen to her.  Often, having an objective third party, and not a parent, will give her the freedom to open up and talk about what is bothering her.  The benefit of having a licensed psychologist or therapist to counsel the teenager is that the therapist will be able to teach her some coping strategies.  She can be taught how to deal with certain situations so that depression does not continue to plague her.

Parents in particular have to be vigilant in searching deeper into what is going on if their teenage daughter is behaving in a way that is out of the ordinary.  A young woman who is depressed may not be able to recognize that they are depressed, so having parents who know what signs to look for can, in many cases, save her life.

 

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