Parenting a teenager can be tricky, and you’ll soon learn that “typical teenage behavior” varies from day to day. Teens are under a lot of pressures at home, at school, and within their friend groups, and these growing pains can lead to a whole complicated set of emotions. It can sometimes be hard to differentiate between a mood swing, sad but normal emotions, and abnormal teenage behavior that can be depressive and suicidal.

Teenage depression goes far beyond just having a bad day; it’s a serious mental condition that requires medical help. It is treatable, but it requires parental intervention for your child to feel okay again.

Read on to learn more about the signs of depression or suicidal tendencies in teens.

Signs and symptoms of depression in teens

Typically, adolescents are unable to recognize symptoms of depression within themselves, so they rely on their caregivers to lead them on the right path to treatment. Teenagers may also fear the social stigma and shame that sometimes comes with mental illness. That’s why it’s so important to be alert for these specific symptoms. If you are noticing any abnormal teenage behavior, some warning signs of teenage depression include:
1. Long periods of sadness and hopelessness that either don’t fade with time or become reoccurring

2. Irritability, anger, intense hostility

3. Frequent crying

4. Withdrawing from their friends and family members

5. Not enjoying activities that used to be enjoyable

6. Sudden changes in academic performance

7. Restlessness and agitation over simple things

8. Change of sleeping habits, severe fatigue, and lack of motivation

9. Difficulty concentrating

10.Unexplained aches and pains
Remember: mental illness sometimes accompanies or even causes other dangerous forms of abnormal teenage behavior. Be on the lookout for signs of eating disorders, drug or alcohol abuse, and other self-destructive behaviors.

Suicide warning signs in depressed teens.

Suicide is a scary epidemic. In the next 24 hours, 1,439 teens will attempt suicide. Most teenagers will attempt suicide to gain the attention of loved ones, but sadly many of these attempts turn fatal. Depressed teens should be watched for these signs relating to suicide:
1. Saying phrases such as “I would be better off dead,” “I need to disappear forever,” and/or “There is no way out.”

2. Constantly mentioning or joking about committing suicide

3. Speaking positively about death

4. Engaging in reckless behavior

5. Giving away prized possessions

6. Writing poems or stories about suicide

7. A sudden interest in prescription pills and weapons
It is important to remember that all teenagers differ, so these symptoms and signs of depression and suicide are just some warning signs to be aware of. As a parent, if you are noticing any of these abnormal teenage behaviors that are a cause for concern, contact a mental health professional to get your child feeling happy and healthy.
Even if it doesn’t always feel like it, your teenager is counting on you.