It can be confusing if your teenager seems completely fine some days, but other days they act like it’s the end of the world. They’re teens, right? They may have had a breakdown recently that seemed totally out of character and now you’re really concerned. The younger your teenager is, the more they may be able to compartmentalize their life. They might be able to have a blast with their friends, and then later that night seem down and upset. This is a strength of a lot of teenagers. They are able to turn off different parts of their life in order to cope, but this can also make it harder for you as a parent to spot teen depression.
Silent depression is when someone appears to be functioning in their day to day life, but still experiences the internal symptoms of depression. Your teen may still be going to school daily, but they may feel overly tired or unmotivated. Their teachers might even say they seem “distracted”. Or they may be spending time with friends, but still feel disconnected from others. They may isolate themselves in their room when at home and not tell anyone how they are currently feeling.
Some other symptoms of depression can include a lack of appetite and difficulty sleeping, but these can be easy to hide. Your teen might be skipping meals at school but eating at home. They may be turning their lights off at night, but not getting restful sleep. These can be hard to recognize unless you are asking and specifically looking for signs.