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Depression Facts

Sad teens

The Role of Depression and Anxiety in
Substance Use

Although it is common for teens to experience frequent mood swings, your teen may be experiencing a form of depression if clusters of the following thoughts, feelings, and behaviors persist for two weeks or longer.

Prompt identification and treatment of depression can reduce its durations and severity. Look for the following signs:

  • Sadness that won’t go away
  • Sullen, silent, withdrawn behavior
  • Persistent “boredom”
  • Frequent vague, non-specific physical complaints such as headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches or tiredness
  • Frequent absences from school or poor performance in school
  • Outbursts of shouting, complaining or crying
  • Unexplained irritability, anger, hostility; reckless or rebellious behavior
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
  • Feelings of hopelessness/worthlessness
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Lack of interest in hanging out with friends
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Social isolation, poor communication, difficulty with relationships
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

(Adapted from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services publication)

KNOW YOUR FAMILY HISTORY of mental health issues.  Depression, anxiety, addictive and compulsive behavior can have genetic components.

Red Flag Red flags indicating you need immediate professional help.

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