Teen depression

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:48 pm
Depression is an emotional disorder common among teenagers. The condition is frequently unrecognized because many adults aren't aware that it can occur in young people. There's a popular myth that teens don't have anything to be depressed about. However, teens do become depressed, and it often occurs without a readily identifiable cause. The classic symptoms of depression include sadness, lost interest in pleasurable activities, decreased appetite, sleep disturbances, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, poor self-esteem, and thoughts of suicide. Problems in school commonly occur due to a lack of concentration and fatigue. In addition, irritability, negative attitudes, and anti-social behavior can develop. The adolescent may even turn to alcohol or drugs as a means of self-medicating their depression. If a teen develops symptoms of depression, help should be sought immediately. A teen who openly expresses thoughts about suicide should be taken seriously. Whether or not the teen is likely to act, the mere presence of such thoughts may suggest a psychological or emotional disturbance. Most importantly, parents should be compassionate, supportive, and understanding, no matter what the problem might be. For more information, consult a local health care professional.
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