"Annoying " teen vs. depressed teen?
Do you have a teenager become more hostile as the fall and winter season approaches? Let me give you a semi-sweet news. You don't necessarily have a "amnnoying" teen, but a depressed teen. Your teen may be displaying symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, a mental health disorder that affects more than 10 million people in the United States. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are approximately 1 million children and adolescents who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) each year.
Adolescents with Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder is diagnosed when your teen has reported symptoms of depression during the fall and winter season, lasting 4 to 5 months, for at least the last two years. The most common symptoms are: increased appetite, irritability, tiredness or lack of energy, negative thoughts, among others. Your teen may start eating more unhealthy, high-sugar, comfort foods. Perhaps, you notice that your teenager sleeps too much during the night and the day. The negative and degrading comments towards her or her, and towards others is more noticeable in your adolescent. In some adolescents, the intensity of the symptoms can be to such an extent that they might experience suicidal thoughts.
Regardless of whether the symptoms of depression begin in 2023, or if you have seen a pattern over the years, it is important to seek professional help. You can consult with your adolescent's primary care physician or pediatrician. You can also consult with a mental health professional. Prevention is vital. If your family has a history of mental health, your teen has experienced "winter blues" in previous years, or you just want to be proactive, I invite you to schedule a consultation today. It is better to incorporate preventive strategies than remedies.
I invite you to learn more about Seasonal Affective Disorder in adults and adolescents.
As a mother or father you can help your adolescent. Seek consultation with a mental health professional for parenting coaching. Learn appropriate strategies to manage your thoughts, emotions and actions related to your adolescent and help him at the same time. Incorporating routine psychotherapeutic sessions is of great value in the prevention of mental health disorders. Helps identify changes in the mental and emotional state of people, including adolescents. You can plan vacations to tropical places during the winter so that your teenager has something to cheer him up. Additionally, you can expose your teen to sunlight during the day or through phototherapy or light therapy.
If you're ready to prevent symptoms in yourself or your teen, get this Wellness Pack designed to prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Zuleyka López Lisojo, MSW, LCSW, LICSW
Clinical Social Worker, Mentor,
Mindset Coach, Entrepreneur