Depression: It’s Not Your “Teen Being a Teen”


Depression is a beast. It comes in and distorts a person’s view of their world. It’s scary. It’s misunderstood and it can be isolating. At Smart Neuro Health & Wellness Centers, we take depression seriously and we believe everyone has the right and the ability to live a happy, healthy and productive life.

As a parent, you care about the well-being of your child. So do we. We want your child, of any age, to be the best they can be. What can you do if you notice something ‘off’ about your child?

Depression is common during adolescence and can look different in teens than adults. Teens often seem more irritable than sad when they’re depressed. But, not all depression is created equal.

There are four main types of depression that commonly affect teenagers. Recognizing the signs and symptoms can be key to getting a teen treatment. And early intervention is key!


Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood

An adjustment disorder occurs in response to a life event. Moving to a new school, the death of a loved one or dealing with a parents’ divorce are examples of changes that can spur an adjustment disorder in teens. These typically begin within a few months of the event and may last up to six months. If symptoms persist beyond six months, an additional assessment is recommended.

Although brief in nature, adjustment disorders can interfere with sleep, school work, and social functioning. If you feel like your child is exhibiting these symptoms, contact us today!



Dysthymia is a low grade, chronic depression that lasts for more than a year. Teens with dysthymia are often irritable and they may have low energy, low self-esteem, and feelings of hopelessness.

Eating habits and sleeping patterns may also be disturbed. Frequently, dysthymia interferes with concentration and decision making. Although dysthymia isn’t as severe as major depression, the long duration can take a serious toll on a teen’s life. It can interfere with learning, socialization, and overall functioning.

Dysthymia also makes a teen more susceptible to other mood disorders later in life. If you feel like your child is exhibiting symptoms of dysthymia, contact us today!


Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is characterized by episodes of depression followed by periods of mania or hypomania (a less severe form of mania). Symptoms of mania include a reduced need for sleep, difficulty focusing, and a short-temper.

During a manic episode, a teen is likely to talk fast, feel very happy or silly, and be willing to engage in risky behavior. Many teens engage in high-risk sexual behavior during a manic episode. In addition, their severe mood changes interfere with their education and friendships.
If you feel like your child is exhibiting symptoms of bipolar disorder, contact us today!