7 Red Flags of Teen Depression to Look for Today

Adolescence is not an easy time for most. My wife – the bright, outgoing cheerleader daughter of a 60’s rock legend – often says she breezed through it. Me – the geeky, gangly marching band punk son of a minister – not so much!

No matter who you are, the journey into adulthood from dependence is a moral, physical and mental juggernaut. As children advance through the various tumultuous transitions that accompany adolescence — body changes, emotional upheaval, hormonal overdrive, sexual awareness, social norms, intellectual development, increased access to just about anything, and the complex ways these all intertwine — the pressures and problems encountered can all too often seem overwhelming. For many, these and other challenges lead to one or more of a variety of mental health disorders; all matters of concern, and some truly life-threatening.

Adolescence is tough on parents, as well. Any who have braved the task (and blessing) of nurturing a young life and directing another human into independence know Well the bouts of grumpiness, solemness and silent brooding interlaced with joy and downright giddiness. Some of the darker, “I’m going to withdraw inside my headphone silenced digital world and be a sad rock” sulking is normal, yet how do you know?

As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and today is Childhood Depression Awareness Day, it is important to take note of this shocking statistic: as of this writing, teen suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States and the leading cause of death among young women worldwide, surpassing accidental injury. Thankfully, in our home, as the threat of self harm became all too real, we already had a sense the normal teenage angst of our youngest had gone way too deep and was consuming her. We are among the lucky ones who still had a chance to intervene and surround her with a team of professionals and a lot of focused attention that helped restore healthy thinking. I mourn for and with those who were not.

There are a multitude of signs we can all be looking for, whether it is as parents, medical professionals, teachers or friends. And, there are a multitude of resources for finding help. Here are just a few of the ways you might get engaged, understand what warnings to watch for and find the places you can go when you know you need a hand.

If you read no further, at least checkout these Top Tips for Parents:

  • Keep communication constant, open, and honest: Your children should not only know they can talk to you about anything, you must be committed to broaching topics of concern with great transparency. Talk about your own experiences and fears when you were an adolescent. Be prepared to push through certain push-back and denial. Even today, my mostly happy recovering teen reminds of the time I first asked if she was depressed but failed to go deeper when she silenced me with supreme “stink-eye”. Let them know that they are not alone; nor are their anxieties unique.
  • Understand mental health disorders are treatable: Arm yourself with information about the most common mental health disorders among adolescents; speak with your child’s physician, your local health department, religious leaders, and your child’s school representatives about what sorts of information are available from them.
  • Be attentive to your teen’s behavior: Adolescence is, indeed, a time of transition and change. Still, some severe, dramatic, or abrupt changes in behavior might be strong indicators of serious mental health issues and not just pure rebellion.

Going Deeper, Watch for these Mental Health “Red Flags”:

  • Excessive sleeping, beyond usual teenage fatigue, which could indicate depression or substance abuse
  • Difficulty sleeping, insomnia, and other sleep disorders
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Abandonment or loss of interest in favorite pastimes
  • Unexpected and dramatic decline in academic performance
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite, which could indicate an eating disorder
  • Personality shifts and changes – such as aggressiveness and excess anger sharply out of character – could indicate psychological, drug, or sexual problems

Possible Mental Health Issues (Just a few)

Depression – While most of us are subject to an occasional bout of “the blues,” clinical depression is a serious medical condition requiring immediate treatment. Watch for:

  • Unexpected weeping or excessive moodiness. A sad or irritable temperament for most of the day. Your teen may say they feel sad or angry or may appear more tearful or cranky.
  • Eating habits that result in noticeable weight loss or gain
  • Expressions of hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Self-mutilation, or mention of self harm
  • Obsessive body-image concerns
  • Paranoia or excessive secrecy
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Excessive isolation
  • No longer wanting to be with family.
  • Abandonment of friends and social groups.
  • Not caring about what happens in the future.
  • Aches and pains when nothing is really wrong.
  • A lack of energy or feeling unable to do simple tasks.

Note: Any of these signs can occur in children who are not depressed, but when seen together, nearly every day, they are definite red flags for depression.

Eating disorders – Body image concerns can become obsessions, resulting in startling weight loss, severely affecting the adolescent’s health:

  •  Anorexia: Avoidance of food and noticeable restrictions in eating habits should trigger concern. NOTE: This is the deadliest of all mental disorders.
  • Bulimia: Purging (forced vomiting) after eating. Be alert for both dramatic weight loss without changes in eating habits (which could, of course, indicate other health issues that require a doctor’s attention). Also, be alert for immediate trips to the bathroom or other private spot after a meal.

Drug abuse – In addition to peer pressure, mental health issues can lead adolescents beyond experimentation with alcohol and drugs to use of substances for “self-medication.” In addition to being alert to the behavioral and physical signs of alcohol and drug abuse — drug and alcohol paraphernalia or evidence, hangovers, slurred speech, etc. — parents should also:

  •  Watch for prescription drug misuse and abuse: According to the AAP, prescription drug misuse by adolescents is second only to marijuana and alcohol misuse. The most commonly abused prescription drugs include Vicodin and Xanax, with a sharp rise in opioids.
  • Know that over-the-counter-medications can be abused as well: Teenagers also frequently abuse OTC cough and cold medications. Heck, there are popular songs about it.

Up from Adolescent Depression: What Parents Can Do to Help

No matter what is going on, concern about your adolescent’s mental health should first be addressed directly with your child. This fosters open dialogue and goes a long way toward building sound adolescent mental health habits. Talk to your child about his/her feelings and the things happening at home and at school that may be bothering them. For us, these talks quickly escalated from denial to cries for help. We had to move to professional intervention, FAST!

If your concerns are serious, discuss them with your physician. Because so many mental health issues display physical manifestations — weight loss being the most dramatic, but not the only one — your pediatrician can offer both initial medical assessment and also refer you to appropriate mental health organizations and professionals for counseling and treatment when called for.

Promote health

  • The basics for good mental health include a healthy diet, enough sleepexercise, and positive connections with other people at home and at school.
  • Limit screen time and encourage physical activity (depending on the disorder) and fun activities with friends or family to help develop positive connections with others.
  • One-on-one time with you, catching them doing great things, encouragement for seeking care and pointing out strengths build the parent-child bond.

Provide safety and security

  • Talk with your child about bullying. Being the victim of bullying is a major cause of mental health problems.
  • Look for grief or loss issues. Seek help if problems with grief do not get better. If you as a parent are grieving a loss, get help and find additional support for your teen.
  • Reduce stress, as most teens have low stress tolerance. Accommodations in schoolwork are critical as well as lowered expectations at home regarding chores and school achievements.
  • Guns, knives, long ropes/cables and medicines (including those you buy without a prescription), and alcohol should be locked away.

Educate others

  • Your teen is not making the symptoms up….
  • What looks like laziness or crankiness can be symptoms of depression.
  • Talk about any family history of depression to increase understanding.
  • Get the school involved. I have to say, while I expected the medical and mental health professionals to respond the way they did – after all, that’s their job – I was most impressed with how the School staff rallied around us. They surrounded her with supportive teachers and counselors and covered her with intense levels of understanding while making allowances for exceptions to work under a 504 plan. Get one!

Help your teen learn thinking and coping skills

  • Help your teen relax with physical and creative activities. Focus on the his/her strengths.
  • Talk to and listen to your child with love and support. Encourage teens to share their feelings, including thoughts of death or suicide. Reassure them this is very common with depression.
  • Help your teen look at problems in a different, more positive way.
  • Break down problems or tasks into smaller steps so your teen can be successful.

Make a safety plan

  • It is critical to remember you are a key element in your child’s recovery and an essential part, if not the real leader, of their care team. Stay deeply involved in every portion of their recovery.
  • Follow the treatment plan. Make sure your teen attends therapy and takes any medicine as directed.
  • Treatment works, but it may take a few weeks, months or even years. The depressed teen may not recognize changes in mood right away and may become discouraged with initial side effects of treatments (such as antidepressants).
  • Develop a list of people to call when feelings get worse.
  • Watch for risk factors of suicide. These include talking about suicide in person or on the internet, giving away belongings, increased thoughts about death, and substance abuse.
  • Locate telephone numbers for your teen’s doctor and therapist, and the local mental health crisis response team.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1 800-273-8255 or online at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

DISCLAIMER: Look, I am just a half-a-brain helicopter pilot and mechanical engineer turned accidental sales person who became an occasionally adept commercial leader. I am not a medical professional, so what I am sharing here should be in no way misconstrued as health advice. This list is not exhaustive. It is only some of what we learned in facing the fearsome specter of mental health gone askew in our own home.

There are plenty of great people and resources, beyond those cited as sources, ready to give you any assistance you need, especially when it comes to the real potential for self harm. Below are just a few:

If you or someone you know needs help, go to The Mighty’s suicide prevention resources. If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

Finally, if you are looking for a health professional, you might find them using HealthLynked. It is the first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a Higher Purpose – Improving HealthCare. Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more and find our additional resources on mental health information.

Sources I borrowed liberally from:

Posner, Kelly. “Preventing suicide: Teen deaths are on the rise, but we know how to fight back,” Published 1:08 p.m. ET Feb. 7, 2018.  https://philanthropynewyork.org/news/preventing-suicide-teen-deaths-are-rise-we-know-how-fight-back

“Mental Health and Teens: Watch for Danger Signs”, Adapted from Healthy Children Magazine, Winter 2007

“Adolescent Depression: What Parents Can Do To Help”, Adapted from Addressing Mental Health Concerns in Primary Care: A Clinician’s Toolkit (Copyright © 2010 American Academy of Pediatrics)

Schuster, Sarah. ” Here’s What We Should Be Sharing Instead of the Latest Details About Avicii’s Suicide”, The Mighty, https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/apos-sharing-instead-latest-details-185503533

Systems Of Top Adult Websites – The Inside Track

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3. Don’t Get Drunk – Specifically within your earliest date, you must stay alert and focused upon the face, earliest dates are time designed for fact finding questions and listening to settle on if the 2 main of your are probably an excellent accommodate you aren’t not. It’s best to avoid alcohol entirely at the primary date, although if you should do will have don’t forget to keep it low.

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9 Ways to Engage in Hepatitis Awareness Month (and Four Things You Should Know)

May is designated as Hepatitis Awareness Month in the United States. Agencies and offices across the federal government, alongside state and local partners, are working to raise awareness of the importance of vaccination for hepatitis B, testing for hepatitis B and C, the availability of effective care and curative treatment.

May is designated as Hepatitis Awareness Month in the United States. Agencies and offices across the federal government, alongside state and local partners, are working to raise awareness of the importance of vaccination for hepatitis B, testing for hepatitis B and C, the availability of effective care and curative treatment, and the serious health consequences resulting from undiagnosed and untreated viral hepatitis. The entire month affords us important opportunities to raise more widespread awareness of viral hepatitis and its impact in the U.S. and expand healthcare’s coordinated national efforts to improve the health of the estimated 850,000 people living with HEP B and 3.5 million people living with HEP C.

Four Things You Should Know About Viral Hepatitis:

  1. Hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are all different diseases. Each type of hepatitis is caused by a different virus and spread in different ways. Hepatitis A does not cause a long-term infection, although it can make people very sick. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C can become chronic, life-long infections and lead to serious health problems.
  2. Chronic hepatitis is a leading cause of liver cancer. Chronic hepatitis B and C can cause serious damage to the liver, including liver damage, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer. In fact, more than 60 percent of liver cancer cases are related to hepatitis B or C.
  3. Most people with chronic hepatitis do not know they are infected. More than four million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis in the United States, but most do not know they are infected. Many people live with chronic hepatitis for decades without symptoms or feeling sick.
  4. Getting tested could save your life. Lifesaving treatments are available for chronic hepatitis B and new treatments are available that can cure hepatitis C. Still, getting tested is the only way to know if you are infected.

9 Ways to Get Engaged

Assess Your Own Risk and Take Action

Use these easy online tools to find out if you are at risk for hepatitis B or hepatitis C, then take action to locate a nearby provider of hepatitis B vaccination or hepatitis B or C testing. Share these tools with friends, family, colleagues, members, clients, constituents, and others.

Use the Hepatitis Digital Tools

Incorporate the Hepatitis Awareness Month logo into your website, blog posts, social media, email, and other communications. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) page to find an array of digital tools including a quiz widget and buttons, badges, and banners in different shapes and sizes that are ready to download and use online.

Get Social

Join the conversation on social media. Use the hashtags #HepAware, #HepTestingDay, and #HepatitisAwarenessMonth to share information on viral hepatitis and Hepatitis Awareness Month. Follow @HHS_ViralHep on Twitter to learn about the Viral Hepatitis Action Plan, federal hepatitis actions and resources. Follow @cdchep on Twitter to receive information from CDC about hepatitis resources, tools, publications, campaign updates, and events.

Take it to the bank

Send money to your favorite viral hepatitis nonprofit organization. Most hepatitis C organizations are doing big work with little money. If you can’t make a donation, a simple thank-you or and encouraging message about a job well done is still valuable.

Use CDC’s Educational Campaign Materials

Know More Hepatitis is an educational campaign aiming to increase testing for Hepatitis C among people born during 1945-1965. Supporting fact sheets, posters, infographic, buttons & badges, live-read radio scripts, templates, and other images can all be found under campaign materials.

Know Hepatitis B is an educational campaign aiming to increase testing for Hepatitis B among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). This multilingual campaign has materials in English, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese with select fact sheets also available in Burmese, Hmong, Khmer, and Lao. Supporting videos, fact sheets, posters, infographics, customizable flyers, and other materials can all be found under campaign materials.

CDC has multiple viral hepatitis posters available for ordering at no cost. Some posters are available in Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

Read About Viral Hepatitis

Learn more about The Department of Health and Human Services’ Action Plan to harness available tools and focus the U.S. response to viral hepatitis. The Action Plan features many opportunities for nonfederal stakeholders to take action in support of reaching goals.

Or, find the latest news, research and information at HEPmag.com.

Tell Your HEP Story

Telling your story puts a face on hepatitis, defies stigma and helps to raise awareness. Make it real of others and get your testimony out there, whether as a care giver, a volunteer, or a person who has overcome or is currently dealing with HEP.

Connect With Others

HEP Forums comprise round-the-clock discussion spaces for people to exchange information and talk to others affected by hepatitis.

Find the Right Physician or HealthCare Team

Here at HealthLynked, we have built a healthcare ecosystem that allows you to connect with providers who will really care for you in unique ways and truly collaborate on your well being. Through the platform, Free to patients, you can carry your medical records with you wherever you go and enjoy the confidence that comes from knowing your medical professionals have the most up for date medical Information available to enhance your care.

Ready to get Lynked? Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more and get started, for free, today.

Sources:

HEPmag.com

HHS.gov

Hashtags:

#hepatitisC #hepatitisCtreatment #hepatitis #hepatitisB #HIV #sofosbuvir #Sovaldi #coinfection #GileadSciences #cirrhosis #ribavirin #treatment #Harvoni #livercancer #ViekiraPak #viralhepatitis #Opioids #AbbVie #FoodandDrugAdministration #liverdisease #HealthCare #HealthLynked #HLYK

Clear-Cut Solutions For Moscow Brides – A Closer Look

It isn’t too much to make a decent impression on Russian women, but western men try their utmost so that they can attract Russian brides towards themselves. If one attempts to stick to a few tips, it may well get the job done accordingly whenever they terrific their Russian partner in a really clean way. However, you have to use caution which usually Russian personals are good therefore you can’t fool them or obtain their benefits.

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Russian Brides and Russian Mail Order Brides

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Top Tips To Strengthen A Marriage

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You’ll just are certainly not sure how to handle it to obtain the fact that spark oh no- the marriage. Once you have acknowledged your marriage has lost an item it can also be easier to acquire life back to it. If you do not attempt to fix their xbox in the partnership perhaps you may end up a further statistic indoors ranks of divorce.

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100th Monkey, Part 2

Once we decide to alleviate your own memories, bodies and spirits we tend to change the whole and heal organ of the whole. Part of the natural end result of curing ourselves is we tend to begin to look at an authentic look at your life. We recognize and adopt the equality from all existence. We understand our true worth along with the great need of some plus the worth of all the collective whole. As everyone heals, does indeed a natural part of the universe and healing influences and affects the collective consciousness. All the question is will significant mass be reached ahead of humanity’s collective consciousness triggers your own devastation and maybe who relating to our society as we know this. Each of us posseses an potential to trust mankind and continue to strive toward a far more peaceful world until our purpose is reached to swap much of our group consciousness to share ideals grounded in take pleasure in or we take this last breath.

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7 Ways to Innovate Your Practice Immediately

No matter how well your team is performing today, it is still hitting measures well below its potential. We all have far more to offer the world. Take time to consider how you are actively seeking to rapidly advance against your goals and improve those areas that need your attention, to Exceed Expectations and even to change the world.

Right now, at this very moment, you are capable of exponential growth. You have within you all it takes to multiply your success, to radically advance positive change, and to surpass goals that, on initial inspection, seemed impossible.

Start by stopping. Stop settling for things just as they are. As Jim Collins begins in Good to Great remember, “Good is the enemy of Great!”

Also surrender the belief that change is only marginal and linear. Most of us operate within a mindset that success comes sequentially.  We all are seeking to advance from one level of achievement to the next. Then, from that stage, we will graduate to the next…gradually. Seems our world is set up this way.  I personally talk about it every day – growing one step stronger. That thinking is flawed. Now, it becomes important we all grow giant leaps stronger.

You can do this by leapfrogging – a big part of Innovation today. Leapfrogging is the advance from one place, position or situation to a much higher level without progressing through all the stages or places in between. It is going from sea level to the stratosphere in an instant. It is growthhacking.

As you seek to innovate, today and every day, consider how the idea of leapfrogging allows you to leverage the knowledge, experience, successes and even the failures of others without having to pay the price yourself. It allows you to rapidly advance without having to go through the intermediary steps.

Leapfrogging is currently being widely deployed in developing countries. Many will skip inferior, less efficient, more expensive and more polluting technologies and industries and move directly to superior advancements. Recent examples include countries moving directly to wireless phones from having no phones, jumping over the phase of installing landlines all together. Ecologically, countries are moving directly into the solar age and building wind farms for power, skipping over the mistakes made by burning, depleting and depending on fossil fuels.

As you seek to innovate, leapfrogging has staggering implications when it comes to the potential of creating a better you, a better product, a better company, or a paradigm shift all together. You can deliver an explosive jump. A controlled explosion in performance puts you well beyond the next logical step in your career or your company’s success.

Think of it as multiplication versus addition… a compounding interest in time and thinking invested.

Better yet, innovate in ways where 1+1 can actually equal 11. Here is how:

1.       Break old routines and mindsets. To leapfrog rapidly requires the vigorous deployment of new and better behaviors. These could be paradoxical and may appear highly unusual.  We all have a strong tendency to become overly dependent on proven strategies and the tactics they involve. If you want to enjoy the fruits that only leapfrogging can deliver, you must be willing to break out of routines and old mindsets.

2.      Work Smarter. When working harder and longer feels like the solution, shift to working smarter and more focused. Trying harder might produce incremental gains. Performing smarter brings exponential growth.

3.      Aim before you Fire. When stuck, we rely on trying harder to get unstuck. It is in our nature. When stuck, instead, hurry up and do NOTHING…at least for a moment. Then, look for radically different approaches that will be easier…maybe even effortless. And don’t wait for things to be perfect – they never will be.

4.      Think Differently. Shooting for the stars is not easy. It can be unnerving, and the natural tendency is to go back to familiar habit patterns. This is the psychological gravity that keeps us out of orbit. Innovating requires an entirely different set of mental routines. PREPARE YOURSELF TO MAKE A QUANTUM LEAP, and belief it can be achieved.

5.      Stretch yourself. While not everything is possible (i.e., I am not competing in the Alpine Skiing events at the Olympics right now), what is within your reach will still blow your mind. You can experience a level of success far behind anything you are currently expecting. You can use innovation, leverage and strength to actualize peak performance on a monumental scale.

6.      Think beyond the probable. True, there may be limits, but let go….do not worry about them at this time. Any real limits you will experience are well beyond the artificial boundaries you have set. Real limits will not box you in, but fake ones are a prison.

7.      Be limitless. If you knew success was guaranteed at whatever you set your mind to accomplish today, what would you go for right now? If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do? What would it look like? What specific action steps would you take? How would you proceed? DO THAT! Make the leap!

Start to develop a leapfrogging mindset for yourself and your team by simply doing this: do all you do knowing you will deliver astounding results, as if you have already achieved them….as if nothing stands in your way. Make a giant leap and act with complete confidence. Inspire ambitious ideas, pioneer new formats & technologies and embrace the creation of positive change.

Skeptical? Examine this with real clarity. If doing what we are doing right now the same way every day were enough to deliver a quantum leap, we would all be making them regularly, and we would all be well ahead of plan or outstripping the goals we have set for ourselves. As Praveen Suthrum says, “It’s impossible to grow if you don’t give up what you are doing today. And take up the next challenge.”

Finally, want to truly innovate today? Think back to when you were kids – you were supermen and wonder women. You had no fear. You made breakthroughs every day. Your life was a bold experiment in all things wonderfully impossible made possible. Renew that indomitable faith you had in yourself and

  • Act as if success is guaranteed in everything you do;
  • Confidently expect you will make great things happen; and
  • Give everything within you to make them happen.
  • Work throughout this and every day with the clear conviction victory is an absolute certainty.
  • Focus on leaping forward.

Seeking to innovate passionately and leapfrogging means thinking outside the probable. It means going well beyond the obvious and giving yourself permission to dream big and risk everything.

Here at HealthLynked, we INNOVATE PASSIONATELY by recognizing it is important to meet each day with an entrepreneurial spirit. We operate with the core belief that Building a great future requires free flowing ideas and a willingness to always challenge ourselves and each other to expand our thinking and build an exponential mindset.

That is how we are leading a paradigm shift by bringing the world’s first social ecosystem for healthcare to life. It enables the most efficient exchange of healthcare information between providers and their patients and makes it possible for an open collaboration around health you could not even imagine last year…or even last week.

Ready to get Lynked? Go to HealthLynked.com today to sign up for free, as a patient, or claim your profile as a provider.

Source: Portions adapted from Gary Ryan Blair’s 100 Day Challenge