Thursday, December 31, 2009

Depression in Teens - Sleep Disturbances

How do parents know if it is depression or simply being sixteen years old? Moody teens often go up and down the emotional roller coaster many times a day. What makes depression of teens different?

The usual signs of depression may include insomnia, oversleeping, waking early, a low energy level, social withdrawal, little or no interest in former hobbies, feelings of inadequacy, grades that are slipping, a pessimistic outlook, crying a lot, feelings of isolation, and a general down in the dump attitude about life.

You may question how to know whether your teens having trouble staying asleep at night or even oversleeping could both predict depression. Sleep deprivation can cause or enlarge a number of problems. If your teen is having sleep problems it may good to have a medical evaluation to rule out a medical condition. Rather than use sleep medications, I would recommend asking your doctor about other alternatives, such as yoga, relaxation or meditation.

Since brain development accelerates in adolescence, it makes sense to assist them in finding lifelong activities that will be useful in controlling depression. Because depression so clearly impacts our immune and healing systems, affects our relationships and friendships, it is important to learn coping strategies early in life.

Many teens feel a sense of alienation and isolation from the family or friends. A study done at Johns Hopkins University Medical School which followed 1300 medical students for many years. Those who expressed an alienation from family developed cancer and other diseases, including depression and suicide than the other students.

If your teen shows symptoms of depression, please get medical assistance now. Emotional problems seldom get better without some interruptions and re-framing of the negative thought processes.

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