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The teenage years are difficult for many but for a teen with depression, it becomes even harder. Between the hormone changes, the social class changes, and meeting new people; a teen can be overwhelmed with all the significant changes occurring in their life.
Moving from a small elementary school to a larger middle school can bring anxiety for some teens. Childhood friendships may begin to expand out to new friends and relationships change. For a depressed teen, instead of going with the change, they may shut themselves off to it and not participate in activities they once enjoyed.
For example, some teenagers who are depressed will begin to show low energy and no desire to hang out with their friends. The friends perceive this as the teen giving them an attitude or being moody and wait for it to pass so their friendship can resume. Many times this episode doesn't pass and the friendship begins to unravel and eventually is ended.
Teenagers who do not suffer from depression can learn the signs and symptoms to help their friends or at least become aware of the illness. The more teenagers are aware that depression can occur at their age, the more they can help and prevent tragedies from occurring. Being supportive, caring, and loving goes a long way when a teenage peer is aware of a friend's situation.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|