Teenage Depression Anxiety

On average, 1 in 3 teenager in every classroom is affected by mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

We all feel low or down at times but if your negative emotions last a long time or feel very severe, you may have depression.

As a parent it can be difficult to know whether your child’s moody or miserable behaviour is “just a phase” or a sign of something more serious.

On average, three young people in every classroom are affected by mental health problems like depression. Many go undiagnosed and never get the help they need. Mental health problems cause more early deaths than either heart disease or cancer. Many teenagers are particularly vulnerable to depression, caused by the huge number of biological and social changes going on in their life :-

  • Hormone changes
  • Exam stress
  • Family breakdown, separation or divorce
  • Drug use
  • Online pressure, cyber bullying
  • Bullying
  • Young Carers
  • Money worries

“It’s not always obvious with teenagers if they are depressed,” says Dr Arthur Cassidy, psychologist at the Belfast Institute, who works with children with depression. “Retreating to their bedroom for hours can be normal, but if they are withdrawing and seem disconnected from their friends too it could be a sign of depression.” While fortunately cases of severe depression in young people are relatively rare (YoungMinds says 1.4% or about 62,000 11-16 year-olds are seriously depressed)

Depression is one of the most common types of mental illness. Although it’s hard to feel optimistic when you’re depressed, there is lots of support available to help you feel better. Depression is a mood disorder where you feel very down all the time. Depression can happen as a reaction to something like abuse, bullying or family breakdown, but it can also run in families and often develops alongside anxiety

Depression affects different people in different ways. Symptoms can include:

  • Not wanting to do things that you previously enjoyed, loss of interest in life
  • avoiding friends or social situations
  • sleeping more or less than normal
  • eating more or less than normal
  • feeling irritable, upset, extremely moody, miserable or lonely
  • Lack of interest in school or marked decline in school work
  • Persistent sadness
  • being overly self-critical
  • feeling hopeless
  • maybe wanting to self-harm
  • feeling tired and not having any energy for over a week
  • Distancing from family
  • Eating too little or over eating
  • Not washing or looking after themselves properly
  • Unusual risky behaviour, drugs, alcohol etc.

Just because you (or your child) experiences one or more of these symptoms, it doesn’t mean they’re definitely affected by depression. It’s important to talk to your GP to get a full diagnosis.  Speaking with your child’s Head of Year at School may help, and most schools now offer Counseling facilities.

Treatments often include Counseling, CBT Cognitive Behaviour therapy and in some cases medication from the GP. In extreme cases they may offer to refer you to the child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS), an expert or a psychiatrist who can help.

Parents who want an alternative route

For those not wanting the medication route, Homeopathy and Flower Essences, alongside nutrition and lifestyle changes may help.

Homeopathy is a gentle non-invasive, holistic and comprehensive system of medicine that strengthens your health and vitality, treating mental, emotional and physical illness.  Homeopathic remedies work by stimulating the body energetically, so that you can heal and achieve a better level of health.  The principle of homeopathic treatment is based on the philosophy that the body, mind and emotions are connected, they affect each other.  Homeopathy treats the whole person, not just the disease, bringing you back into harmony and balance.

It’s safe, gentle, non-addictive and won’t interfere with other medical treatments.  It’s suitable for everyone, both men and women, can be used during pregnancy and is particularly suited for babies and children.

What Teenagers can do about depression?

Take the first step – depression can affect anyone, and you deserve help to feel better. Don’t suffer in silence or feel embarrassed. There are people who love and care about you!  Talk to someone you like and trust, like a teacher, relative, a confidential helpline, counselor, your friend or maybe your friend’s parent.  Ask your friend to go with you to speak with an adult if you need support.  You may also be able to see you GP.  You’ll also find some links at the bottom of this page to other websites.


Without snooping around your child’s bedroom or reading their Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, how are you going to know how they’re feeling? “Children have their own private world that they live in and it can often be very hard to work out what they are thinking,” says Dr Cassidy. “While it’s important to give them space so you don’t threaten their identity, try to listen out for clues as to how they are feeling.” Common triggers could be an upset such as splitting up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, or not doing as well in something as they’d hoped. These events may not seem a big deal to you, but they may be major for your teenager. Try not to belittle what they’re going through; try to see it from their perspective.

  • If your teenager starts sending out negative statements about themselves, give lots of positive messages back. Encourage healthy eating, regular exercise and new challenges and adventures, for example encouraging them to take on a new activity, which can break them out of the spiral of depression.
  • Acknowledging your child is upset by listening and talking is really important too. Sometimes planting the seed that you’ve noticed they’re not happy and are ready to talk when they are can set the ball rolling. If your teen is particularly uncommunicative, trying communicating on their terms through a text or email saying you think they seem down in the dumps and you’re there if they need you.
  • Most importantly listen to your own instincts, as a parent you are the expert in your child, if you’re concerned that something isn’t right, then follow your inner guidance and seek help.

NB. Should your child need a longer appointment, we can discuss this at the time.  A follow up appointment will be required 4 weeks after the initial appointment, for more info on the consultation click here https://www.vitalremedy.co.uk/homeopathy/your-homeopathy-consultation/

How to Book?

Contact me on 07942 868118, we can have a chat about your child’s symptoms and find a convenient time to meet.  You can also email info@vitalremedy.co.uk  or complete the contact form here https://www.vitalremedy.co.uk/contact/    If you are a teenager who has found this page, please show this to your Parent or Guardian and ask them to contact me.

Further help!

The following links may be useful

Young Minds https://youngminds.org.uk

NHS https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/children-depressed-signs.aspx

Mind https://www.mind.org.uk/