As teens struggle through the tough transition period of childhood into young adulthood, it can be difficult to decipher a teen’s behavior. Are their out-of-control emotions and conduct a result of the natural process of adolescence, or is it something more serious?
Suicide prevention and awareness is an issue that is important to us at Sunstone Counseling. We’re committed to helping clients learn to recognize the signs of depression and challenge existing stigma surrounding depression and its treatment options. We encourage anyone struggling with depression to seek help.
The statistics on teen suicide are staggering. According to the Centers for Disease Control, each year, an average of 8% of American teens will attempt suicide. This makes suicide the second leading cause of death for kids aged 10 to 24. In fact, it is believed that more teenagers die from suicide than from cancer, pneumonia, birth defects, AIDS, influenza and heart disease combined.
1. Excessive Crying and Sadness: While emotions tend to run high in most teenagers, excessive crying and sadness that persist for more than two weeks could be a sign of depression.
2. Loss of Interest and Motivation: When a teen is depressed, they may have trouble concentrating. This will cause them to lose motivation and interest in activities they once enjoyed.
3. Problems at School: The loss of concentration and motivation could also result in problems at school. Skipping school, plunging grades and a lack of participation in school and extracurricular activities are all signs that could be pointing to teen depression.
4. Changes in Weight or Eating Habits: Has your teen’s eating habits changed? Are they skipping meals or eating larger portions more frequently? Eating more or less, as well as dramatic changes in weight (either gained or lost) is one of the signs of depression.
5. Withdrawal: Depression causes people to isolate themselves. It’s not uncommon for a depressed teen to begin to withdraw from friends and family, choosing instead to spend time alone or locked in their room. If your teen is depressed, you may notice them begin to avoid spending time with friends and loved ones.
6. Suicidal Ideation: Thoughts or expressions of death or suicide should never be taken lightly. Threats or even jokes about suicide are a cry for help from your teen. If your teen expresses thoughts of suicide, react calmly, and then seek immediate help. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.
Sunstone has a team of compassionate counselors available to support your child with offices in Northern Virginia, Ashburn, Richmond, and online.
Presentation of “More Than Sad: Teen Depression”
Sunstone Counseling is committed to educating our clients and community and participating in advocacy campaigns to shed light on this critical issue. That’s why we’d recently partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s National Capital Area Chapter to present an in-person version of their program, “More Than Sad: Teen Depression,” at our Ashburn office.
This 75-minute program teaches parents, adults and caregivers about depression, how to recognize the signs of teen depression, demystifies treatment, and encourages those who are struggling or have a loved one who is struggling with depression to seek help. Please visit https://afsp.org/more-than-sad for additional information about this and other “More Than Sad” programs and events in your area.