Parents, Are Your Teens Depressed, Using Drugs or Just Pulling Away Naturally?

Why is your teen pulling away? It is a question many parents ask me.  I can totally understand their concerns because there are many reasons why your teen could be pulling away, one being the normal process of separation, the rest being possible drug use, depression or just working through their own stuff.

If it is drugs, usually other things are going on in their lives as well.  Signs to look for are declining interest in activities your teen use to enjoy, declining school grades, and radical mood swings that seem to be about more than just teen hormones.

Teenagers are faced with a lot of different pressures, from developing into adults, to the very question of who they are and how they can fit in.  It isn’t easy to decipher between depression and your teenager starting to assert their independence.  Here is a list of symptoms of a depressed teen:

  • Sleeping a lot more than usual
  • Edginess, anger, or hostility
  • Sadness, frequent crying, or hopelessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, talking about it
  • Difficulty concentrating,
  • Lack of energy
  • Withdrawing from friends
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Lack of motivation and enthusiasm
  • Feeling worthless and guilty

Depression and drug use come with an assortment of symptoms that would be noticeably different than a teen pulling away to begin his/her own path of independence. It’s important for us as parents to be tuned into our teens, so that when their behavior changes we notice.

My parents were not tuned into me at all as a teen.  I felt like I was raising myself. I suffered huge bouts of depression and no one in the house even knew. Finally when things got so bad that my school work was being affected, they took me to the doctors and put me on drugs. Great answer to a child reaching out, numb them more with drugs.  Parents be careful what path you take to care for your child. I always suggest talking to them and asking a lot of questions about how they feel and why they think they feel that way. My parents never asked me anything ever, they just made an assumption and went from there.

Parents, tune into what your teens needs are and talk to them about it, they need you to act like they are important and they have a voice in their life.

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