One of the toughest questions a psychologist has about a teenage client is, “Is this a true psychiatric disorder or part of teenage development?”
There’s a shocking increase in adolescent depression, but too much of it is being dismissed as “just being a teenager”.
Part of the problem is that adolescents don’t report being depressed. They say they’re feeling irritable and hopeless with short periods of being sad and stressed. It can look like the “ups and downs” of teenage life.
- Ask about difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep and sleeping too much.
- Also look for fatigue, headaches, stomachaches and other physical complaints related to being stressed.
- Ask about recent arguments with parents, friends, lovers, problems with school, abuse, neglect, and upcoming major changes such as divorce or a move.
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