Take a walk through memory lane with me back to your teenage years. (Sorry, this may be a bumpy ride.) Were they mostly happy? Did you feel misunderstood? Did you feel stressed out? Did you ever feel depressed?
You can return to your present-day life now, but think about that last question a little bit more. Because, there is a very real chance that you were depressed as a teenager but no one noticed. This is mostly because of all those other emotions that are going on during our teenage years. Lots of teens get their behavior labeled as "angst" and never get the help they may need for depression.
And that is really tough for parents: There's no online quiz to take to see if your teen is angsty, stressed, moody or actually depressed. To make things harder, teens generally avoid using terms like "depressed" to state their moods. Instead, they will use words like "stressed out" or "angry."
So what's Mom and Dad to do? Experts say talk often - especially after high-emotional moments like a large argument or exams at school. The key is to figure out what words your teen substitutes for "depressed" and not just label their emotions for them.
Sigh. I thought this parenting thing was supposed to get easier as the kids got older.
Does your teen talk about being stressed a lot? Share in the comments.