19 Subtle Signs Your Teenage Girl is Depressed

Everyone knows you love her; most likely, she’s the center of your universe. So, you may also notice your daughter’s slightest change in behavior that happens of all sudden. One of the most possible answers is your daughter may experience teen depression. Our list of signs that your daughter is depressed provides the underlying issues and how to handle each case—that’s why you’re here, right? 

Teen depression affects all aspects of life and influences how they feel, act, and think. The dynamic of a teen’s life is so complex as they pave the path to adulthood. Here, we tried our best to present a list of signs that your daughter is depressed from many perspectives and possibilities. We promise you things will get easier to handle once you read our complete list and cultivate compassion. Our ultimate advice is always to seek mental health professional when you feel helpless. 

1. Social Withdrawal 

signs that your daughter is depressed

One day she stops participating in any social events and activities she once was excited about. While a schedule clash is possible, it’s a different story when it occurs repeatedly. Maybe she feels she doesn’t fit in or is being bullied. Initiate a heart-to-heart talk and, if needed, assign her to completely different courses to train her hidden talents and enrich her perspective. For instance, aikido training and piano lessons. So that she knows that this society consists of many communities that will accept her unique self. 

2. Motivate an Unmotivated Daughter 

signs that your daughter is depressed

Teenagers are commonly curious. Beneath their curiosity, it is the “why” they want to find. They seek purpose. And when they’re forced to do something that serves no purpose, they will feel unmotivated. Send her to a summer camp for a few weeks, so she has a chance to experience the world with teenagers her age is a good idea. But if what she wants is an escape, you can take her on vacation. Sometimes all she needs is to press a pause button. 

3. Teenage Mood Swings 

signs that your daughter is depressed

Typically, mood swings are common in teenagers as hormonal changes and part of development growth. But in extreme cases, you should check if her mood swings are triggered by stress. Before making an appointment with an expert, you can promote an exercise routine and a healthy diet at home. Alternatively, you can take her to a morning yoga session in the park. 

4. Bouts of Deep Sadness 

signs that your daughter is depressed

One day your daughter woke up and suddenly felt sad for no apparent reason. Her eyes show sadness as she struggles with anger and frustration. At this point, do not be reactive and bombard her with too many questions. We know that you eagerly want to jump in to help quickly. However, remember that for you to help her, she must first like that help. Be supportive and attentively listen to her rants. 

5. The Sleep-Deprived Teen

signs that your daughter is depressed

Lack of sleep in teenagers can significantly affect their moods. If your daughter doesn’t get enough sleep in the long term, it can majorly impact her mental health. Instead of focusing on the struggle to get her out of bed every morning, spend your energy to ensure she gets enough sleep. Sleep deprivation and depression are cyclic. Lack of sleep can exacerbate teen depression, and the depression itself can affect how well you sleep. 

6. Food and Mood

signs that your daughter is depressed

Diet and mental health are closely related. By now, we believe you already understand your daughter’s eating behavior and habits. Evaluate closely if you sense a sudden change in how she eats, especially if it’s more inclined to an unhealthy lifestyle. Thankfully, we can control what we eat. Try to increase fruit and vegetable intake and decrease the amount of processed food. At the same time, pay attention to her tone when talking about everyday issues. If you dig deeper, she will eventually spill the bean about things that bother her. 

7. Weight Gain or Weight Loss 

signs that your daughter is depressed

This point is linked to the previous one when talking about signs that your daughter is depressed. Long-term changes in diet can lead to either weight gain or weight loss. But there are also some reasons your daughter is gaining or losing weight that have nothing to do with food, such as hormonal issues or depression. 

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Based on a study, teenagers who are depressed are more prone to obesity. But please also note that your teen girl is in a certain period where the pressure of looking good is real. Thus, sudden rapid weight loss can also be seen as one of the signs that your daughter is depressed. Ensure you promote a healthy lifestyle and body positivity in the family to prevent eating disorders. 

8. Bad Academic Grades

signs that your daughter is depressed

If you notice that your daughter has significantly lower academic grades compared to the previous semesters, watch the pattern. If this happens temporarily, for just one or two semesters, you don’t have to worry. But if it persists, it might indicate something more serious, such as teen depression. Teen’s phase of discouragement and uncertainty greatly influences their school performance. Thus, stopping being demanding parents would be a great help. Instead, you can consult a mental health professional to understand your daughter’s condition better. 

9. Feeling of Worthlessness

signs that your daughter is depressed

A sudden loss of confidence is one of the signs that your daughter is depressed. Always check yourself first. Does your daughter receive nurturing and loving interactions with you as parents? Self-esteem plays a crucial role in teenagers exploring themselves and learning to build their boundaries. When your daughter is depressed, she tends to think critically about herself. Let her school knows about this in the hope of further mentoring. Also, you can help her find her potential by involving in her activities, such as sports and arts. 

10. Trouble Concentrating

signs that your daughter is depressed

When you notice that your daughter has difficulty concentrating, something is going on in her mind. The thing is, sometimes teenagers don’t realize they lose focus. Don’t accuse, criticize, and punish your daughter for not paying full attention to things she should’ve focused on. You can ask her if there are things that bother her and ask her what might help her. Trouble concentrating can be one of the signs that your daughter is depressed. 

11. Increase the Use of Alcohol or Drugs

signs that your daughter is depressed

A depressed teenager tends to abuse drugs and alcohol. We were once teenagers, and we perceived experimentation with drugs and alcohol as something to be considered normal. But once we are parents, we came to realize that it’s not common and can be one of the signs that your daughter is depressed. Thus, be aware of her activities. If possible, get to know the parents of your daughter’s friends to discuss this. Be good role models for your daughter. Whenever a problem persists, show her that you two can make tough decisions responsibly instead of using alcohol and drugs to relieve stress.

12. Hopeless Teen

signs that your daughter is depressed

Unlike adults, teenagers can’t fully control their lives due to a lack of experience. For instance, as parents ourselves, we can freely choose with whom we would spend our time or which house to buy. In the romantic department, we behave differently from broken hearts. Adults tend to recover from hurtful experiences easier as teenagers do not have a realistic approach to make them stay grounded. This whole scenario often makes your daughter hopeless. She feels trapped in an unpleasant condition she doesn’t have control over.

13. Jealousy is (Always) Over Her

signs that your daughter is depressed

As a person struggling with depression, your daughter can get unusually jealous of others. Maybe her friend is more intelligent, or her cousin is prettier, but sometimes it is just merely an unexplained feeling. As parents, be the ones that your daughter is comfortable with and make her feel good about herself. That way, you can help reason that jealousy is a waste of time. Focus on what you have as a family and teach her to count her blessings every day. 

14. Suicidal Thoughts 

signs that your daughter is depressed

Dig deep into the core of your daughter’s thoughts is not easy. But the good news is you can do things to prevent your daughter from suicide risk. First, always listen to her, especially when she’s sad or angry. Practice effective problem-solving skills at home with transparency and fairness in the hope that your daughter will learn from you. Next, do not drop the ball when she talks about ending her life or committing suicide. Because, most likely, it is one of the signs that your daughter is depressed. Invite her to have a deep conversation and seek professional mental health support if needed. 

15. Hold Grudges and Seek Revenge

signs that your daughter is depressed

Pay attention when your daughter feels the urge to seek revenge, holds grudges and refuses to move on when someone hurts or betrays her. This can be one of the signs that your daughter is depressed. Simply because she’s not happy inside, thus blaming others and causing them distress in return will satisfy her. Build and maintain a more open and deeper relationship with your daughter. Listen to her empathetically and observe her behavior compassionately. 

16. Ungratefulness

signs that your daughter is depressed

Another subtle sign of depression is ungratefulness. Your daughter is never happy with what she has, and you’ve lost count of the number of times she’s been unappreciative. Instead of criticizing your daughter, you can tell her that her ungrateful attitude can affect others. Alternatively, you can try to delay gratification. Say “No!” more often, especially when she demands more material items from you. Let her save up her money to buy the tertiary things she wants.

17. Trouble Making Decisions or Indecisiveness

signs that your daughter is depressed

Do not underestimate indecisiveness as one of the signs that your daughter is depressed. She should make some decisions every day, such as which shirt to wear today or which book to read. Some more complex decisions to make, perhaps which route to school to take or which task should be finished first. Thus, when she becomes indecisive, beware. Indecisiveness stems from many possible factors, such as fear of disappointing others, trouble focusing, or depression. Let your daughter take the lead in planning the next family vacation and appreciate every effort she makes. 

18. Physical Pain 

signs that your daughter is depressed

Sometimes the signs that your daughter is depressed are as tangible as physical pain. Understanding the physical symptoms of teen depression is as important as acknowledging the emotional effects. Because physical pain is one of the ways your brain signals something is wrong. However, the pain often comes with unclear causes, such as frequent stomachaches, muscle pain all over, or sudden headache attacks. To recover, your daughter needs to see a medical psychotherapist. 

19. Beware of Aggressive and Destructive Behaviour

signs that your daughter is depressed

Finally, the most tangible signs that your daughter is depressed. You don’t have to second-guess if your daughter needs help, mainly if her aggressive behavior results in self-harm. Divert her excess energy into productive activities such as games and sports while admitting your daughter to psychiatric treatments. 

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Which symptoms are commonly seen in a child with depression?

Changes in sleeping patterns and eating habits, being self-critical, social withdrawal, thoughts of death, worsened academic performance, excess anger, and low energy. Please also note that in some cases, physical pain may present in addition to emotional damages caused by depression. 

At what age do girls get depression?

Research finds that one in four girls aged 14 has signs of depression. Although depression can occur to anyone at any time in life, women are more likely to be diagnosed as depressed than men. Due to hormonal changes women experience during puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy, women are more prone to depression. 

What is the main cause of depression among the youth?

The main cause of teen depression is the life transition from children or adolescents to young adults. The effect on many aspects of youth’s life somehow influences how they feel and perceive themselves and their surroundings too. After all, exploring and finding your true self while setting boundaries is not an easy task. 

Why does my daughter feel sad?

Most likely, your daughter suffers from depression. This can come in many forms, such as feelings of worthlessness, fatigue, sudden loss of confidence, feel not fitting in. Before asking her, check yourself first. Have you accepted her as she is? Do you ensure that the house you live in is filled with love and warmth? 

Suzy Prichard

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