By Christina Botto
One minute your teenager will be laughing and joking along with
you and the next he is in a fit of rage, yelling or crying with
no warning or apparent cause. Mood swings are normal with all
teenagers, but how do you know when mood swings turn into
Teenagers have so much to deal with in today's society that
depression can come easily. If left untreated, it can become a
much more serious issue. With pressure at school, family
situations, and the necessity of making serious life choices at
a young age, depression may make such a sudden impact even the
teenager may not know that he or she is suffering with this
Depression in teenagers is often overlooked, and is rarely
treated or even diagnosed. Many parents tend to view their
teenager's bad mood as just another teenage trait.
Teenage Mood Swings vs. Depression
Most teenagers suffering with depression will almost constantly
be upset, not just with their parents, but also with siblings
and even friends. Their grades may drop and their social life
may cease suddenly and unexpectedly. Your teenager may make
excuses to stay in his room and not participate in social
activities, and even when forced to participate, may do so with
little or no enthusiasm.
Sometimes, this disorder may actually be a chemical imbalance
and uncontrollable with just words and care from the parent.
Medications and therapy may be required for your teenager to
regain their mental health back. Depression is such a serious
disorder that can lead up to even more serious situations like
school or home violence, self injury, even suicide.
What parents can do
If your teenager seems unhappy or upset for a long period of
time, try to have a talk with him. Begin the conversation
casually by mentioning that you can see that something is
troubling him. Don't be discouraged by your teen's likely
response that you cannot help or there's noting you can do.
Point out that sometimes just talking about a situation will
help to find a solution or to see it from a different
If your teenager will not talk to you about her problems speak
with her school guidance counselor. He or she might be able to
give you helpful information about what is troubling your teen.
The guidance counselor might also be able to help you assess if
it would be beneficial to your teenager to see a professional
therapist or to attend a group counseling session.
Should you decide that therapy is necessary, do not force your
teen to attend any of these sessions. Instead, ask him to attend
if only to see that his particular problem might not be as
unique as he thinks. Your teenager might experience great relief
in realizing that he is simply going through natural
developmental stages and that it is normal to feel overwhelmed
by the pressures of school, family and peers.
Instead of breaking under the stress and thinking he is not
capable of handling his daily life, your teenager will approach
obstacles more open minded and ready to discuss with you or his
About the Author: Christina Botto has been involved with
helping parents and teenagers resolve complicated issues for
more than 14 years, observing and developing parenting
strategies. Her dedication to helping parents inspired her to
write her book, 'Help Me With My Teenager! A Step-by-step Guide
for Parents that Works.' Christina continues to help parents and
their teens through her website http://www.helpwithteenagers.com
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