The Dangers of Untreated Depression in Teens

When depression in teens is left untreated, the consequences can be severe, and in some cases, deadly. Like other illnesses, untreated depression continues to get worse and the teen who has it continues to suffer.

Problems That Depressed Teenagers May Face

Teens who are depressed are at high risk to develop many serious problems as they struggle to deal with the emotional pain they are feeling. Although the behaviors described below are not specific to depression, they may raise some suspicion for the presence of depression or other mood disorders.

Behavior problems at home: due to defiance, withdrawal from family members or an ongoing negative attitude.

Problems competing in sports: due to low energy, irritability, lack of confidence or difficulties getting along with peers.

Declining school performance: caused by difficulties concentrating, lack of interest or trouble with authority figures.

Social issues: due to feelings of worthlessness or needing frequent validation or attention from others.

Drug abuse: using drugs in an effort to self-medicate, self-treat sleeping difficulties or ambivalence about staying alive.

Reckless behavior: to include driving carelessly, having unprotected sex or involvement in illegal activities. The consequences of these actions can often be devastating as well as life-altering.

Self-harm behaviors: hurting oneself deliberately in an attempt to try to express or control inner pain.

Continued depression: recurring episodes of depression are likely to occur as the teen gets older.

Violence towards others: self-loathing can develop into directing anger and rage onto others. This acting out behavior will often have consequences that lead the teen to more depressive episodes.

Suicide threats or attempts: depressed teens have a high rate of suicide due to experiencing significant emotional pain that they want to stop.

Untreated depression can affect teens in devastating ways which makes it critically important to get help for a teen who is showing signs of developing this illness.

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