Updated 10 April 2013

More than just the blues

Mood swings are common during the teenage years, but in some teens it can be one of the first indications of a mental disorder.

"My daughter is 16 years old and is diagnosed with bipolar and borderline personality. She is also severely depressed, has no interest in school and everyone and everything is always negative against her. My daughter just came out a clinic which helped her to learn the life skills and to cope with bipolar. I' m worried that although she is very positive that she will fall back to her old depressed self. I don't know what to do for her anymore as I cannot keep on rescuing her from every situation."- Teen Forum

"Depression is certainly on the increase, with children as young as 12 presenting with severe depression and suicidal thoughts. Teenagers (15-24) are the highest risk age-group for suicide, and it is the second leading cause of deaths amongst teens," says counselling psychologist, Diane Mallaby.

  • Low mood/irritability
  • School refusal or avoidance
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Avoidance of activities they once enjoyed
  • Sadness or anger for no apparent reasons
  • Low self-esteem
  • Self-mutilation
  • Defiant/acting out behaviour
  • Talking of 'not wanting to be here' or writing letters to saying good bye


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