A close friend of mine relayed how her mom and dad reacted when she told them how she was suffering from severe depression at the age of 18. This young lady was a freshman living in the college dorms at the time, a couple of hours away from home. Her problems came from the fact that her parents want her to become a doctor, yet she hopes to pursue a career in music.
The first person she thought of revealing it to was her mother, hoping that she would understand. However, the answer that the friend got was, “What will our friends and relatives say if you don’t end up as a pediatrician? Get your license first, and then follow another path.” Hearing that crushed the teenage girl since it turned out that her mom worried about public opinion more than her mental state.
Luckily, her father had a different ideology. He merely said, “I don’t want to visit my daughter at an asylum. Do what you want.” That reply changed my friend’s life for the better, and she now has a band of her own, touring different cities 362 days a year.
The takeaway point from this anecdote is that while most parents are supportive of their children, many of them choose to be indifferent because they believe that will benefit the kids later. However, when depression is part of the equation – a mental disorder that kills 12.93 in every 10,000 individuals in the US – this behavior might lead to self-harming or, worse, suicide.
To avoid becoming the parent who pushed his or her teenage child deeper down the depression lane, you should take note of the things you should never do.
1. Think Of It As Overdramatization
The absolute no-no is assuming that the youngster made up his or her mental condition. Teens have plenty of fun activities to get busy with generally; no one has time to fake brooding unless that is what they genuinely feel. If they sense that you think of the issue as overdramatization of what’s going on, it might depress them further.
2. Ignore The Problem
Getting confirmation from a mental health professional that your teenager indeed has depression entails that you cannot and should not make yourself believe that it’s nothing but a bad dream. You have to figure out the best way to aid and care for your troubled son or daughter. It is highly inadvisable to ignore the problem because that will worsen the situation.
3. Order Them How To Deal With It
Although it occurs inside the mind, depression is not something that you can coax out of anyone. The person who has it needs to take it a step at a time until he or she accepts that moping cannot alter the reality. You can be a great help, therefore, if you avoid coaching the teen on what to do and how whenever you get a chance.
4. Keep Them From Talking About The Disorder Publicly
Try not to be that mom or dad who shushes their kids when they want to speak up regarding their experience with depression. Not only do you stop them from exercising their freedom of expression, but doing so will also keep them from inspiring other youngsters to be open about their disorders.
5. Accept Every Treatment For The Teen Without Second Thought
Psychiatrists tend to recommend various remedies to treat – not cure – depression. Before you agree on giving medication to your teenage son or daughter, however, you should find out if non-invasive psychotherapy will suffice even without drugs. This way, he or she won’t suffer from the side effects of antidepressants.
6. Offer Zero Breathing Space
Lastly, remember that depressed folks already feel suffocated in their own heads. If you always get on your child’s face in hopes that it will change something inside him or her, it can merely pressure the poor kid further.
Everyone can develop depression. It is not a mental illness that you can only acquire once you reach a particular age. To help your teenager overcome it, you should avoid doing the things mentioned above.
Adolescence is a period of rapid growth for most people. Aside from the various bodily changes, teens also have to deal with changing personalities while navigating the often-confusing social interactions during this time. This change can cause some confusion and stress, and while these feelings are normal, sometimes they can become overwhelming. The result is anxiety, defined as intense, persistent feelings of fear and dread that can interfere with daily life.
Just because they’re not adults, you think they can’t get depressed. Well, teenagers face a lot of pressures in their daily lives and yes, they too can feel extremely sad, helpless, hopeless, and even suicidal. Puberty is confusing and add to that the feeling of wanting to belong while they find their “true” friend is an enormous feat. Broken families also tip the depression scale in these kids and they think they have no one to turn to.
Are you considering a youth counselor career? If so, here are the details that you must know about it.
What is a Youth Counselor?
Simply basing on the term “youth counselor”, it refers to a person who provides guidance to young people who committed crimes or are possibly at some sort of a risk, in their teenage years. They are involved in dealing with issues influencing their academic and social development, including the following:
- Unstable Home Lives
- Body Image Concerns
- Sexuality Concerns
Youth counselors can also be the intermediary of the youth and local services that can introduce them to specialists that can help them with their issues. They can be employed in:
- Criminal justice system and social services
- Training camps
What Does a Youth Counselor Do?
Youth counselors cater, provide information, and guidance to critical issues of youth ages 11 to 21 years old. These critical issues include the following:
- Family Issues
- Substance Abuse
- Academic Underachievement
- Social Skills
Youth counselors have professional skills that can help them deal with clients
Developing rapport or establishing a friendly and trustworthy relationship with an adult that has their best interest at heart is one of the ways. Trust-building techniques will be used to establish this rapport, including intentional discussions of transference and counter-transference, confidentiality policies thorough review, and careful self-disclosure.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT Techniques are like examining the client’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviors all at the same time and how they work with each other. (These CBT techniques are also employed by BetterHelp therapists – an online platform filled with youth counselors and other expert therapists with certification and training.)
There are other techniques used based on the issues being focused on including specialty substance, abuse counseling and motivational interviewing.
Why Do We Need Youth Counselors?
Being a youth counselor means dealing with teenagers troubled with internal and external stressors, and they need guidance coping with them. From family issues to school problems, youth counselors can help their clients identify what they are dealing with and how they will be able to work through them. This is why schools, educational centers and even families turn to youth counselors for their expertise.
A youth counselor is also needed by young teens who commit crimes or encounter major incidents that will require them to attend sessions with a specialist. (Young ones who need professional mental health assistance should be able to access counselors by simply typing on their browser, therapist near me. They can always opt for at-home therapy sessions without having to reveal their faces.)
Where Does a Youth Counselor Work?
Youth counselors work in different environments, including:
- School environment
- Correctional facilities
- Drug treatment programs
- Inpatient mental health clinics
What are the Educational Requirements in becoming a Youth Counselor?
Some of the educational requirements needed are as follows:
- Degree Program in Counseling
- Counseling Practice Specialization
- Complete Youth Counseling Work Training
- Child and Teen Counseling Issues Classes
What Do You Learn in a Youth Counseling Degree?
Some of the basic topics you learn in counseling degree include:
- Counseling theory
- Different counseling approaches
- Human development
- Specific areas of focus like educational issues, family issues, and sexual issues
- Social and cultural issues
What Skills are Needed to be a Youth Counselor?
If you want to be a youth counselor, you need to have specific skills to be able to perform your job excellently. Some of which are:
- De-escalating techniques
- Identifying Violent Outbursts Triggers
- Knowledge of Self-harming Statements and Behaviors
- Bring Emotional Rewards
I used to think I was alone in my frustrations as a parent, but I realized after talking to one, two and then multiple close neighbors that I wasn’t insane when I thought that my teenage daughter hates me and she didn’t want to be seen anywhere with me anymore.
A few months ago, I would have gone to a counselor and I once asked my husband if he knew how much therapy costs (interesting article on the topic here, as I was really planning to give it a try. I’ve only mellowed down after I have talked to fellow parents who’ve experienced the same frustrations.
Teenagers often pull away from their parents.
As much as parents hate it, teenagers frequently have the attitude of wanting to be independent. It is almost biological for them to pull away from us simply because they are teenagers – it’s a stage they go through and is actually part of how they will be able to see themselves as adults in the future. Don’t be alarmed if their friends become more important than you, or that they call them more often than usual.
It’s not about how we are as parents. It’s about how they are as teenagers.
This is not about us having neglected our kids or us having not spent more time with them. This has got to do with our teenagers. Parents get more nervous about their teens growing up when they see themselves in their teens, and they are afraid that their teens would make the same mistakes they did in the past.
As parents, it is not only our responsibility to take care of them but also to let them live their lives, give them the opportunity to do better than us, show them respect as they do to us. We should encourage them to freely do what makes them happy unless it is harmful to them. This way, they can deal with their emotions in a positive way. If in the past they have been full-time onlookers, it will be a different story now. They will want to be the actors and you will have to be a spectator sometimes, but of course with some touch of supervision.
Let’s not assume that they always make bad choices when we don’t make the decisions for them.
It’s easy to understand why we want to control our teenager’s life. We want them to be safe. We want them to learn good behaviors. We want them to be strong. We want them to have a great future. Enough reasons why we often establish rules that may be unrealistic for them. These rules might make them think that we don’t already trust them even before they have done something wrong.
We need to rethink things. When we do this, we are making rules that would make US feel safe and make US feel comfortable. Let us not be too controlling. It might be the exact reason why our teens are slipping away from us. Letting our kids be is difficult for any parent, but it’s one of the best pieces of advice a parent needs to take.
Be their knight and shining armor – as always.
It’s hard to see our kids grow up so fast and so far from us, but when things go wrong, just make sure you’ll be there for them. Reach out to them and let them feel that they can confide in you. That’s actually one of the best ways to get to know your teen better. We must never deny them of our help simply because there have been times that they’ve defied us. We must make them feel that we love them despite their mistakes – but we ought to give them that tough love that they may sometimes need.
If you want to see your teenagers flourish into strong, optimistic and beautiful souls, give them the space to do so, but be with them all throughout their adventure – whether it be as a spectator or as an active participant. They don’t know it, but they need you – they always do.
The truth of the matter is that when our children age, especially as they approach teenage years, there are usually only two ways it could go. First, it could be that they become more open to you. With all the new experiences in their lives, they tend to get closer to you as they long for a familiarity in their lives. On the other hand, they might drift apart from you for all sorts of reasons which are a lot harder to explain.
It’s a nightmare for any parent to find their teen arriving home with a black eye or a large bruise on their arm. It’s even worse if the parents receive dismissive remarks from their worried questions. They brush it off with a “This is nothing,” or a “Don’t worry about it.” The parent is left to worry about what could have happened in school or how the bruise got there. Of course, their biggest question is this: Is my child being bullied?
If you feel that your child might require treatment or therapy, you will need to find a good therapist to help your teen in overcoming their mental health issues. A simple way to find a good therapist in your area is to Google ‘’therapist near me.’’ or learn how more people are working with online therapy counselors. This will give you the best of therapists near you. Remember, there’s no one size fits all. You might have to find a therapist that can design a treatment package that will help your child.