Ups and downs

in puberty

It is perfectly normal to feel really good at times and really bad at others. There are always ups and downs in every phase of life. It is important to be able to deal with them and to react when, for example, phases of grief last for an unusually long time. Then, it is often necessary to react, because, principally, depression does not spare anybody.
For a long time, it was assumed that depression does not occur in young people, or, to put it another way: If young people are in a bad mood for a long time, it is simply due to puberty. Depression has nothing to do with this, because it only occurs in adults. Wrong. For a long time this was the prevailing opinion, but studies have disproved it.
Since then, it has become clear that depression is also common among teenagers and even children and must be taken seriously.

However, beware: Not every bad mood is immediately a depression. It is completely normal to be in a good mood one day and in a really bad mood the next.

Behaviours such as irritability, defiance, withdrawal from others and dissatisfaction are also part of life and are perfectly normal, especially during puberty. They even belong to what we understand under “normal development.” So, not every phase of bad mood is immediately a depression.

It is important to distinguish between normal mood swings, as we all have them, and depression. The difficult thing is that there is not only one depression. It can have many faces and progresses differently. However, in principle, the following applies: Only when the symptoms persist for several weeks at a time should the possibility of a depression be considered.

Characteristics and signs of depression

In adults, the symptoms are similar, despite there being a difference: In children and adolescents, physical complaints are more often in the foreground. The most common symptom is unusual tiredness during the day. Another clear sign is recurring abdominal pain or headaches. Moreover, the likelihood of developing headaches rather than abdominal pain increases with age.

The overview here shows that there are more or less clear signs of depression.

It is important to act early, but also to understand that not every mood fluctuation is immediately a depression. It is completely normal to be really annoyed for a week. However, your mood should soon improve again. If it doesn’t: Better take another look at the do-it-yourself checklist