One question often asked by parents is, “How do I know when my teen son needs help for depression?” From struggling in school to having trouble with relationships, it’s hard to know if he’s just having a bad week or if something more serious is going on.

The important thing to remember is that depression is a spectrum. Symptoms can range from moderate to severe and each person’s experience differs. Here we lay out warning signs of depression that you can identify, and when to seek out treatment for your teen son. 

When Should I Pay Attention to the Signs of Depression?

Do the Symptoms Persist?

We all get sad, anxious and pessimistic from time to time. This is a normal part of the human experience and is especially common with teenagers and their fluctuating hormones. 

When symptoms are chronic, that’s the time to pay attention. If symptoms occur each day for two weeks, start to seek treatment options. Don’t let it go on longer, as symptoms can grow in severity over time.

Are There Risk Factors to Consider?

Depression can happen to anyone, but certain factors put people at greater risk. These factors can be genetic, environmental, experiential or psychological and can make someone more vulnerable to a depressive disorder.

If your teen son has experienced any risk factors and is displaying signs of depression, he may need treatment. These risk factors include:

  • Personal or familial history of depression
  • Major life changes, such as moving, losing a loved one, or experiencing parental divorce or separation
  • Physical injury or illness
  • Personal conflicts in relationships
  • Emotional, mental, physical or sexual abuse

What Are the Signs of Depression?

Depression can affect the body, emotions, moods and thoughts. It can also interrupt everyday activities and daily life. Knowing the signs and identifying how long they’re experienced will help you determine whether to seek treatment for your son.

Signs of depression usually aren’t isolated to one symptom and can be a combination of several. Seek out treatment options when these symptoms are chronic and persist for two weeks. 

Signs of depression include:

  • Crying and sadness
  • Decreased energy and fatigue
  • Irritability and anger
  • Feeling worthless, hopeless or pessimistic
  • Poor grades or school attendance
  • Overeating or undereating
  • Sleeping too much or having insomnia
  • Experiencing headaches, cramps or body aches
  • Angry or violent outbursts
  • Losing interest in hobbies and normal activities
  • Sudden changes in friends and relationships
  • Self-isolation and avoidance of social situations
  • Substance and alcohol use
  • Lack of focus and concentration
  • Self-harm or suicidal thoughts
  • Getting arrested or trouble with the law

Learn About Holistic Treatment Options for Your Teen Son

When it comes to treatment, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. At Lakeside, we treat all of our teen boys with faith-based, holistic programming that addresses every part of their lives. Learn more about our healing programs by contacting our staff at 844-768-8336 or send us a message today.