Request for More Information

We’d love to hear your suggestions or offer doctor recommendations. To find a pediatrician for your children. Call us at (858) 502-1177 or complete the form below.

*We do not provide medical advice. For medical concerns please contact your child’s pediatrician directly.

If you’re the parent of a teen, you may have already witnessed enough drama and extreme mood swings to rival an episode of “Real Housewives.” But how do you know if what you’re seeing is typical teenage angst or something more?

“Talk to your teen on a regular basis and do the best you can to know what’s going on in their life,” says Dr. Hilary Bowers, Director of Behavioral and Mental Health Services at Children’s Primary Care Medical Group. “By paying attention to their behavior, you will be able to recognize consistent or abrupt behavioral changes which could indicate an issue.”

Here are five behaviors that may indicate your teen needs to be evaluated for depression. Dr. Bowers stresses that these symptoms need to occur every day for more than two weeks in a row. “A few bad days does not equal mental illness,” she says.

1. Social withdrawal
Note if your teen starts to spend an excessive amount of time alone, losing interest in extracurricular activities and events at home or in school as well as hobbies and interests. “Maybe your teen is cancelling outings with friends, or eating meals in their room,” says Dr. Bowers.

2. Irritability, anger or hostility
This is common among teens diagnosed with depression. Your typically calm teen might be constantly angry or blame you with the statement “it’s all your fault!” These are aggressive behaviors that are out of character for your teen and could be indicative of underlying issues.

3. Sleep patterns
Monitor your teen’s sleep schedule and look for changes that include excessive sleep or a lack of sleep due to insomnia. “Sleep is incredibly important for teens,” says Dr. Bowers. “For teens with less than seven hours of sleep each night, studies show that everything gets worse – there is increased anxiety, increased depression, poor self-esteem, increased risky behaviors like drug and alcohol use and poor school attendance. Teens need eight to ten hours of sleep a night.”

4. Risky behaviors
Look for new or increased alcohol and drug use. Depressed teens may also engage in dangerous or high-risk behaviors like binge drinking or reckless driving. Dr. Bowers encourages parents to educate themselves about drug and alcohol paraphernalia so they can recognize the evidence. “Google vape pens so you know what they look like,” she says. Be familiar with the physical signs of substance abuse like red eyes, slurred speech and increased sleep.

5. Changes in appetite
Watch for increased or decreased eating as well as intense focus on body image, says Dr. Bowers. These could indicate an eating disorder.

If you feel your teen is exhibiting some or all of these behaviors and you have concerns, reach out to your CPCMG pediatrician to schedule an appointment. Please note that every CPCMG site will screen for depression at your child’s annual well visit.

The bottom line is to be present in your teen’s life, and express concern for the troubling emotions and behaviors you’re seeing. CPCMG is here to help you navigate these parenting challenges and can provide resources to help your teen maintain their emotional, mental and physical health.

Welcome To The CPCMG Blog

FIVE SIGNS YOUR TEEN MAY NEED TO BE EVALUATED FOR DEPRESSION

If you’re the parent of a teen, you may have already witnessed enough drama and extreme mood swings to rival an episode of “Real Housewives.” But how do you know if what you’re seeing is typical teenage angst or something more? “Talk to your teen on a regular basis and do the best you can […]

READ MORE

ASK THE CPCMG PEDIATRICIAN:
Breath-holding spells

When my toddler gets very upset, she stops breathing and passes out. Our pediatrician says these are breath-holding spells and they’re nothing to worry about. These episodes don’t last long but they’re very upsetting. Why is this happening to her? Breath-holding spells can be scary. They occur in five percent of healthy children, most commonly […]

READ MORE

Breastfeeding Q&A

New parents are faced with the decision of how to feed their newborn. The options include exclusive breastfeeding, breastfeeding and supplementing with pumped milk or formula, pumping and feeding breastmilk in a bottle, giving donor milk or giving formula. Oftentimes circumstances require making changes to the feeding plan, despite an already agreed upon method. For […]

READ MORE

5 EASY BENTO BOX LUNCHES FOR KIDS

Moms and dads are busy and pressed for time, and trying to pack a healthy lunch during hectic school day mornings can add to the frustration. But the bento box provides a perfect solution! Bento is a meal concept originating in Japan, consisting of food items held in different containers within a box. A traditional […]

READ MORE

22 Easy, Healthy Meals and Snacks
for Back-to-School

If you’re a busy parent like me, the last thing you want to do during the back-to-school morning rush is find time to put together a healthy lunch for your kids. I’ve found that taking the time to prepare easy, nutritious breakfasts and lunches is a better option. Spending a few hours to plan ahead, […]

READ MORE

NEW DATA SHOWS TEENS ARE DIETING
MORE THAN EVER BEFORE

Messages suggesting that teens need to change their physical appearance are everywhere – on social media, on television, in magazines and in movies. Those messages are often reinforced with comments from friends, family members, coaches, and even strangers. As a result, teens can develop distorted perceptions about body image, attitudes about food and physical activity, […]

READ MORE

One Question Could Save Your Child’s Life

As pediatricians, the safety and well-being of all children is our primary concern. When we counsel families on topics like safe sleep, baby proofing a home, selecting the right car seat, sunscreen, choking risks and even preventative care, we are ensuring children grow up safe and healthy. Firearm safety is no different. Children are naturally […]

READ MORE

SPORTS PHYSICALS:
Get your child ready to compete!

Summer is almost here but believe it or not, it’s also time to prepare for the next school year. Soon thousands of middle, junior and high school student-athletes will be trying out and practicing for their school teams. Whether they’re playing on a court or a field, your child will need proof of a current […]

READ MORE

CPCMG and CPEC:
Closed for Memorial Day

In honor of Memorial Day, all CPCMG and Children’s Primary Extended Care offices will be closed Monday, May 27, 2019. The nurse triage advice line will be available; please call your CPCMG pediatrician’s office for more information.

READ MORE

10 Ways to Prevent Accidental Drowning

Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children ages one to four years old and the second leading cause of death for children ages one fourteen years old. Here are important tips and steps to take to prevent accidental drowning for children of all ages: #1: Provide constant supervision of your child in […]

READ MORE