Is Your Teen Depressed?- Part 1

Posted on 2013-07-22 04:11:11

Dear AskADoc, My 16 year old niece has been acting a bit off of late. Whenever she comes home for the holidays, she wants to be all by herself and is all engrossed in her music and mobile phone. At times laziness is the order of her day and when confronted she gets really angry and starts crying and throwing tantrums like a 2 year old. The latest event is her suicide attempt. I am getting worried. Why is she like this? What can I do? Thanks Leah Dear Leah, Thank you very much for your question and your concern is very common with parents of teenagers. When you mentioned of the music bit, it reminded me of my own nephew who is about the same age. The mother had asked him to wash the breakfast dishes but when the mother came back, she found the house as she had left it and the son listening to his loud music enthusiastically. The lyrics to the music were, “today I don’t feel like doing anything” by Bruno Mars. Whether the song was meant to pass a message to the mother or just for entertainment is still a mystery to us. Nevertheless, it’s not only teenagers who feel like they should have a lazy day. All of us at one time or another feel that way. Some of us wake up feeling fed up, miserable or sad with no reason. It’s all normal until it persists for weeks and months. These feelings over a period of time may indicate depression. Depression in severity leads to suicidal thoughts and plans which in turn may easily become reality. Hence depression needs to be dealt with early enough. Kenyan research shows that clinically, depression affects five out of every 100 teenagers. Anxiety and depression causes interference in daily activities.