Being a teenager is suppose to be one of the happiest and carefree times in our life, but it is also probably one of the hardest. Teens are in that "in-between" age. They are too old for childish behavior but not old enough to be considered or treated like an adult by most people.
We still punish them the same way we did when they were younger, but we demand that they think and act like responsible adults. Do you think that, maybe, we are giving our teens conflicting messages.
To top it off, teens have to deal with constant peer pressure every day, with no end in sight. This peer pressure not only comes from their friends and school mates, but from the media, local and government officials as well. Adults make no distinction between the teens that are constantly in trouble and those who are not. Adults don't like generalizations, why should they?
Is it any wonder that the number of suicides among teens is so high? Higher than most any other group. Is it conceivable that the increase in kids, who are little more than babies, are killing each other and that school shootings are the teens attempt at assisted suicide? Do you really believe they thought they could walk away from something like that alive?
Are our kids trying to tell us that they are tired of fighting an uphill battle? That no one appears to care enough to listen when they cry out for help?
Because the thoughts, actions and the way teenager do things constantly change, it is harder to tell if they are spinning downward into depression. Most parents are often confused and frustrated by the way their teens act. Some parents become more strict, while others have become immune to what they see as their teens sullenness or quirky behavior. They hide behind the axiom that "it is just a phase he is going through and he will eventually grow out of it."
Do you know the signs of depression to look for?
A general description of teenage depression is that they become aggressive, agitated and get into trouble at home, at school, or with the law. They become preoccupied with thoughts of death or dying, and become les and less concerned about how they look. It has become more common for both teenage boys and girls to believe suicide is the ultimate solution to their problems.
Some studies indicate that teenage depression does not show the same symptoms as those shown by adults who are going through depression. In researching this disease I have found the symptoms to be eerily similar with very few exceptions.
Dramatic changes in their sleeping habits
Trouble focusing on tasks,lack of concentration or absent-minded
Becoming more aggressive, getting mad easier
Prone to moodiness more often
Tendency to cry for no apparent reason
Overreact to criticism
More negative than usual; feeling picked on or disapproved of
Constantly threatening to leave home
Stopped hanging out with their friends
Absent from school more often and their grades are going down
Do you see signs of self-abuse or
Signs of drug and alcohol abuse
Teenage depression is a disease that causes despair, glumness, and miseries in a teenager and can go on for many years. This makes it almost impossible for them to function as a normal person and see suicide as the best or only course of action.
It is time to wake up and take notice of our teens, see them as the budding adults they are and realize how difficult it is for them to cope with everything that is going on around them.