Is My Son Being A Normal Teenager Or Is He Depressed?

Question

Asked by ML31

Is My Son Being A Normal Teenager Or Is He Depressed?

I'm worried about my 14-year old son. He's always in a bad mood, hasn't been doing his homework, has been withdrawing from his friends and it's a struggle to get him to get out of bed most days. Is this normal teenage behavior, or could it be something more serious? I don't want to scare him or cause him to isolate from me even more, but I'm getting worried about him. Should I take him to a doctor?

Answer

Hello ML31,

It's tough when your child begins to experience the emotional turmoil of growing up. Sometimes I think we forget how it felt when we were their age. Then again, times were different when you and I were teenagers versus now.

There are some links to information here that I can give you that will give you the information you need to ask all the right questions and determine if you think you need to speak to your family doctor. First, you can read about teenage depression here. The signs of teenage depression are listed here.

Online advice is a wonderful resource, however nothing takes the place of your doctor's care and advice. Your son is of the age that he should probably see his doctor at least once a year just for check ups. That might be a great time for the doctor to ask your son about his mental well being. It's a common conversation between doctors and teenagers. While your son may exibit some of the signs of depression, the best thing is a visit to the doctor to rule out any issues, particularly if you believe there is something going on more than just teenage angst.

Deborah Gray wrote a good article here about recognizing the signs of depression in a teenager. She says' "One of the most important signs overall is change. Don't just brush off any change in behavior as a normal part of growing up. Some change is normal, obviously, but when the changes are all negative, that should tell you something." Deborah also suggests enlisting the help of a school counselor, teacher or coach who might be close to your son. Sometimes it's easier for kids to speak to someone other than Mom or Dad.

I hope this helps. Please stay in touch and let us know how you and your son are doing!

Vicki M