I had one very calm son who as a teenager "acted out" by slamming his door a couple of times. G-d in his infinite wisdom made this my second child because my first, a girl, knocked my socks off - actaully, she knocked me off my axis!! Any script I wrote in my head as a young, first time mother was utterly mashed once my daughter hit 12. She was obstinate, difficult, dis-respectful and seemed to have PMS 24/7. She was incredibly moody and often hovered between crying jags and depression and strength and rebellion. She tried alot of things that floored me - being a pretty straight laced person myself. But I am happy to report that now as a 25 year old she is a lovely, productive, creative, adorable young woman with incredible potential. I was told the loving child I had known would return - and luckily, she did.
How do you assess typical teenage moodiness and depression from actual clinical depression? Depression can obviously occur at any age, but it seems to affect teens more than young children. It may begin to appear around age 13, and often peaks between age 16 and 24. It can be tough to diagnose because of the way kids typically act during this age period. And depression can be accompanied with mood and behavioral problems like agitation, anxiety, attention difficulties, and even defiant behaviors. So we can't afford to miss the diagnosis of depression.
- If the mood swings are severe, think depression too.
- If behavior or mood detiorates for a period of a week or two, think depression too.
- If behavior problems occur at home, school, and with friends, think depression too.
Get help for your child if you even suspect depression. It can escalate into a serious situation if left untreated. Your difficult teen is actually a vulnerable teen.
Published On: September 01, 2008