Depression is not a one size fits all illness with many people experiencing various types of symptoms, such as mood swings or fatigue.


It can also affect people differently depending on their age – the differences between adult depression and teenage depression are subtle but they're there.


Here are four things to look for: 


1. They’re grumpy

Teenagers are a grumpy bunch but if they exhibit prolonged signs of irritability, angry outbursts or hostility it is important to keep an eye on them. While adults can exhibit these types of symptoms, (although they are more likely to suffer from sadness), they are more common in teenagers.



2. Aches and pains

If your teen is constantly complaining of stomach pains or headaches that don’t have any underlying medical cause it may be a sign that they are depressed. Do explore the option with your GP if you are concerned in anyway.


3. Withdrawing from some, but not all, people

When suffering from depression, adults tend to isolate themselves from everyone, something that teenagers don’t tend to do. Your son or daughter may just retreat from certain people, particularly their mum and dad, maintaining friendships with a few others. However, they may stop socialising or even start hanging around with a wrong crowd.


4. Sensitivity to criticism

While adults can be sensitive to criticism, it is more prominent and more obvious in teenagers, who can be plagued with feelings of worthlessness, failure and even rejection.


A lot of parents can put their son or daughter’s moods down to simply growing up, but if the symptoms have been present for long periods of time it is important to seek help.


Contact Aware if you are worried about your teen.