Watch For These Lesser-Known Depression Symptoms

Watch For These Lesser-Known Depression Symptoms

Depression can be tough to recognise, especially in teenagers. Keep an eye out for these symptoms to make sure you — and your teen — get help as soon as you see the danger signs.

Picture: darcydelaide/Flickr

A recent study from Social Indicators Research revealed an evolution of depression symptoms in students since 1980. It’s important for parents to know what depression looks like so they can help their teenager stay mentally fit and, more importantly, safe.

PsyBlog explains:

Symptoms of depression that many reported, but which people appeared not to know were signs of depression included:

  1. Poor appetite.
  2. Problems sleeping.
  3. Lack of concentration.
  4. Restlessness.
  5. Feeling overwhelmed.

…The study found that compared to their counterparts in the 1980s, teens in the 2010s were 38% more likely to have memory problems and 74% more likely to have trouble sleeping.

Teens were also twice as likely to have seen a mental health professional about these issues.

Amongst college students, 50% said they were overwhelmed, while adults reported poor sleep, lack of appetite and feeling restless.

If you think your teenager might be depressed, seek a health professional for help. Even if you’re not sure, it doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion just to be safe.

Time Period and Birth Cohort Differences in Depressive Symptoms in the U.S., 1982 — 2013 [Social Indicators Research via PsyBlog]

If depression is affecting you or someone you know, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.


  • The loss of apetite is a big one as it only assist in increasing depression, especially if the loss of apetite is sustained for many weeks. Food assists in reducing depression (or in improving overall energy and mood), so its important to not ignore this sign.

  • if you re a guy, get yourself tested for testosterone deficiency, I tried various anti-depression pills for years without satisfaction, broke a bone, been diagnosed with osteoporosis ( & I still young_), tested for testosterone: ultra low ( and I m hairy).
    I m getting one injection every 3 months, no more idiotic depression whatsoever, back to normal, a photographic memory, no more blurred mind, full of energy, my brain is so much faster, just normal.

    • While that may be true for a small proportion of the population, there’s lots of other more common organic (as opposed to functional) causes of depression that low testosterone. It’s probably one of the more rarer, obscure ones and testing everybody who was depressed for low testosterone is probably not warranted due to the low diagnostic yield (i.e. it’s not financially viable to do so, other things not financially viable, according to Medicare Australia, testing for BRCA 1/2 for siblings or children of people with early breast cancer).
      I don’t work in Psychiatry but a quick lookup on Medscape (USA reference but) reveals that they don’t recommend testosterone as part of an organic depression screen either (thyroid function test is, because that is very common) and certainly I’ve never ordered one when working in the inpatient psychiatry unit when I was an intern (but inpatient psychiatry is a vastly different population to the outpatient psychiatry, or so my registrars kept telling me).
      While it’s all fine and dandy to go recommend tests based on your own experience and I’m sure you think that if you have been found out prior to your fracture it may have prevented it (it may not have) a fracture (with minimal force in a young male) raises the question of hypotestosteronism, but not depression (in the same young male) and depression alone in the absence of other symptoms should not raise any doctor, a GP, psychiatrist or otherwise to go ordering testosterone levels. If you have a family history or other risk factors for hypotestosteronism then yes, that would be suitable but not depression alone.
      On the topic of usually missed symptoms anhedonia is a big one, and is the only other major criteria for major depressive episode in DSM IV (haven’t read DSM V, because I’m lazy and apathetic towards it) aside from depressed mood. It basically mean you don’t have interests in things that you used to (an- without, -hedonia, similar to hedonism, both derive from the Greek term for pleasure). So people who may not realise they’re depressed, but if they don’t enjoy their hobbies/past times then they might have depression. Although if they’ve found new hobbies or past times, that’s not anhedonia, having nothing that brings you joy is. E.g. a depressed grandparent may not want to play with their grandchildren any more nor go to the bridge club, a depressed male may not go play golf any more or build random things etc (stereotyping greatly here though).
      But all those symptoms highlighted in the article are minor criteria at best according to DSM IV.

      Medscape organic depression workup:
      Medicare rebate for BRCA 1/2 (there isn’t one):
      There is for breast MRI in high risk women though:

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