Teenage depression could be a serious problem because of extra stress due to studies, hormonal changes, transition to adulthood, etc. If the teen exhibits some unusual signs like withdrawal symptoms, anger and hostility, irritability, lack of concentration, sudden drop in grades, insomnia or excessive sleeping, lack of enthusiasm, sudden gain or drop in weight and last but not the least any suicidal attempts, then it is time to recognize these changed behavioral patterns of your teen to help him out of it. Extend your care and support to him to sail through this difficult time. Take help of a shrink if the situation is severe and out of control.\r\n\r\n1. Drastic changes in behavior\r\n\r\nOne of the ways to identify your teens depression is, when you notice a drastic behavioral change in them. If your child’s performance is affected or you suddenly notice a restrained or isolated behavior, it is time to probe further about him. His sudden noncompliance behavior by participating in some criminal activities, or usage of abusive language and turning to alcohol or drugs, should be an alarming bell for you. Depressed teens avoid socializing and can start suddenly hanging out with a completely different set of group and deviate from activities they earlier use to take interest in. If this behavior is persistent, then talk to your child patiently and lovingly and tell him that you are always there for support.\r\n\r\n2. Emotional changes\r\n\r\nIf your teen shows symptoms of hopelessness, worthlessness, sadness, helplessness and self pity, etc; it is a clear indication to know that your child is suffering from depression. Your child may appear to be extra anxious and may even be irritable and hostile about small issues. Even when you are trying to be helpful to your child, your child may just resist all your attempts but do not give up as this is the time your child needs you the most but is not able to express himself. Be more patient and try to engage him in some eventful activities and if that doesn’t seem possible, then make an appointment with a psychiatrist, suggesting that it is just a general physical checkup.\r\n\r\n3. Physical changes\r\n\r\nDepression can play havoc on the immune system of your teen which even increases the chances of illness. The psychosomatic trauma of depression can result in unexplained stomach or general aches and pains or other disorders. If your notice a sudden loss or gain in appetite, sleeping disorders, weight gain or unusual weight reduction, can be a sign that your teen is going through some turmoil or depression. Exhaustion is faster in these children as compared to his other peer group. He may also go to the extent of inflicting self injury. If you notice these symptoms in your teen, then try to maintain a diary of these unusual events and consult a psychiatrist.\r\n\r\n4. Sleep issues\r\n\r\nA 7 to 8 hours sleep on a regular basis is important for your teen to rejuvenate his batteries. When your teenager is not taking an adequate amount of sleep or is sleeping more than required is indicative of depressive behavior on his part. Sleeping disorder can give birth to a lot of health issues as it may result in lack of concentration, irritability, memory issues, fatigue, poor decision making power, inability to participate in physical activities, unnecessary aggression and poor academic performance. For adequate sleep you may induce some herbal remedies and physical activity of his choice in his regime.\r\n\r\n5. Withdrawal symptoms\r\n\r\nThe depressed teen may articulate signs of isolation by not taking any interest in conversation with his friends and family, by withdrawing from sports and civic activities he once enjoyed doing and by being absent from the school, inspite of leaving the house for going to school. He may start ignoring his friends and may make excuses for not attending any family dinners. If you notice a decline in his grades or a social withdrawal symptom, then make his teachers aware of the problem so that they are more considerate and cooperative and most important, talk to your child without any anger or resilience.\r\n\r\n6. Poor grades or performance\r\n\r\nDepression may aggravate symptoms like lack of interest in studies, poor concentration and lack of memory, fatigue, etc. All these problems can result in disability to cope up with the school work and in grasping new information. This may lower your child’s grades and it may lead to criticism from parents, teachers and mockery from friends. It may affect your teens self esteem and he may end up deviating more from studies and school. Be patient and do not get angry on your teen for performing badly in his academics instead try to do some fun activities along with studies to get his interest back.\r\n\r\n7. Carelessness\r\n\r\nTeenage is the time when children get conscious about their looks, clothes etc. and this a normal part of a teenage identity. But when a teen deviates or shuns this structure, it is an abnormal sign and can be indicative of a depressive behavior. Your teen may start ignoring self care routines like not brushing the teeth or not taking a bath, staying unkempt, showing no interest in new and attractive clothes and wearing dirty clothes, then it is time for you to be concerned. Try to tell your child lovingly the benefits of cleanliness; try to spend more time with your teen in a way that seems natural and not obvious.\r\n\r\n8. Increased sensitivity\r\n\r\nIdentify the teenage depression if your teen seems to be oversensitive in normal situations and always have ever prevailing sadness, hopelessness, grief, loneliness and feeling of failure. She or he may experience frequent bouts of crying. Though teenagers resist crying and their resistance may come out in the form of anger and hostility. Their speech may become ominous using phrases or sentences like “I am no good or you may not have to bear me for long”, are very dangerous signs of depression. Tell your child again and again that how valuable is she to you and how much you love her. Don’t forget to appreciate and praise your teen about his or her talents to bring up his/her self esteem.\r\n\r\n9. Suicidal thoughts\r\n\r\nSuicidal tendency or thoughts is a serious sign of depression. This is a very alarming situation, if you hear your teen using speech like “I feel like dying or no one wants me”, then, be extra cautious as this is the time to take serious clinical help. Suicidal behavior is a classic sign of depression and you in all respects should not ignore it. Teenage girls are more prone to this than the boys, if you notice your child harming their self, do not take it easy and do not allow it to breed more. Seek an immediate help, so that you can start an antidepressant for your teen immediately.