Signs of Teen Depression

4 Signs of Teenage Depression

There are many ways that teen depression can manifest. Some of these symptoms can be difficult to spot and may go unnoticed for a long period of time. 

I’m Keri Sawyer, a child, and adolescent therapist and in this blog post we will discuss 4 signs that could indicate your teen is struggling with depression. 

1. Withdrawal & Isolation

The first sign parents should look for is withdrawal and isolation. A change in the amount of time your child spends with friends or family members could be an indicator of depression.  A teen that was previously very involved with friends or sports may suddenly become more isolated and avoid spending time socially. 

If you experience your teen spending several hours a day on their phone or playing video games without interacting with others, this could be a sign of depression. 

Depression can also lead to feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness which may cause an individual to withdraw from social contact.


If you experience your teen spending several hours a day on their phone or playing video games without interacting with others, this could be a sign of depression. 

2. A Change in Sleep, Appetite, & Mood

A change in the amount of sleep your child gets, significant weight loss or gain, or dramatic mood swings could be signs of depression. 

While there are certainly typical developmental changes that could naturally impact your child’s sleep, appetite and mood, a teen struggling with depression will exhibit changes that are significantly out of character for their personality. Teens with depression often experience a lack of energy and may sleep more to escape the feelings they are experiencing. 

A teen that begins to lose significant weight due to a new lack of interest in eating may indicate signs of depression.  Or if your teen experiences mood swings frequently it could be a sign that something else is going on that should be explored.

3. Lack of Energy & Motivation

A teen that previously had a lot of energy and was very motivated may suddenly become lethargic. 

This could be another sign that your teen is struggling with depression as individuals with depression often lose their drive to complete tasks they once enjoyed. If you notice your teen having difficulty concentrating or completing school work or basic tasks, it could be an indicator that they are struggling with depression.

4. Thoughts of Death or Suicide

Thoughts of death or suicide are common among individuals struggling with depression and it is important to always take suicidal statements seriously. If your teen is talking about suicide or death this could be an indicator that they are experiencing depression. While we can help you and your teen navigate suicidal thoughts and depression, if your teen expresses to you that they want to end their life and have a plan you should call 911 immediately.  

Teenage depression is a serious condition that can be difficult to spot. If your teen has been experiencing these signs for more than two weeks, or if they are showing any other symptoms of mental illness then the problem might be beyond normal feelings of sadness.

We’ve outlined some of the most common signs and symptoms of teenage depression. If your teen is experiencing any or multiple of these depressive symptoms, schedule an appointment today! We can help.