Depression in teenagers can be tough to handle and it is important for teens to have their parent’s full support for them to overcome it. Luckily, depression is treatable and there’s a way to help teenagers cope and handle it.
Understand the Signs and Symptoms of Teen Depression
“Depression symptoms take many forms, and no two people’s experiences are exactly alike. A person who’s suffering from this disorder may not seem sad to others.” That’s according to John M. Grohol, Psy.D. It’s vital for the parents to understand the signs and symptoms of depression so that you can help them with coping with. Here are the signs and symptoms:
- Either a lack of sleep or oversleeping.
- Either a lack of appetite or overeating.
- Suicidal thoughts.
- Feeling extremely depressed.
- Anxiety and stress are also linked to depression.
- The inability to enjoy anything.
- Weight gain or weight loss.
- The inability to concentrate, which usually results in a drop of grades at school.
- Mood swings.
What Can You Do to Help Your Teen with Depression?
Primarily, you as the parent will need to analyze your home environment and find the root cause of your teen’s depression. Have you and your spouse been going through a divorce, has there been a death in the family etc. Understand the root cause of the situation and then work from there. It’s also important that you do not blame yourself for your teen’s depression. Depression in teens has become a common issue in today’s time. You need to place your focus on helping your teen, rather than blaming yourself or others around you. “Be supportive and let them know it is not that you think something is wrong with them, but that you want them to have some help with their current challenges. Sometimes, people who are depressed want help but don’t know how to get started.” Vara Saripalli, PsyD. suggests.
Seek the Help of a Professional for Your Teen
Look around for depression counselors and therapists locally. Ask for recommendations, Google therapists near you or check at your local clinic. A professional can work with your teen and help them with overcoming their depression. In some cases, medication might also be necessary, they will prescribe these medications accordingly. A therapist can also work with the parents and also advise them and guide them on how to handle the depression. They will also advise you on the do’s and don’ts during the treatment process.
Plan Some Fun Activities to Do with Your Teen:
Plan a family outing. You might feel that it would be pointless because of your teen’s inability to have fun. However, don’t let this put you off, you never know your teen might enjoy it and it will show them that they have the full support of their family.
Encourage Them to Talk to Their Friends or Make New Ones
Encourage them to participate in depression chat rooms and call their school friends over to your home. This will also ensure them that they have the full support of their friends and family. This positivity could also put an end to their depression.
How to Handle Suicidal Teens
According to Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC “While suicide is a very serious health and national problem that requires our attention, an even less public reality is that many of us have had suicidal thoughts at one point or another in our lives.” We understand that handling suicidal teens can be extremely stressful and difficult for parents. However, it’s important to stay calm for your teen’s sake. Ask your teens therapist for some tips on how to control your teen. Don’t leave your teen alone in the house if you’re worried about this and if there is a situation, for immediate help; you could call the Suicide Prevention Line and allow your teen to speak with the counselor. This is free and it could also help your teen.
Enroll Your Teen for Some Therapeutic Activities
Encourage your teen do perform well at school and also to participate in some therapeutic and enjoyable activities. Your teen’s therapist will recommend some therapies. A few options are animal-assisted therapy, exercising, dancing, art, yoga etc. The list is endless.
Encourage Them to Live a Healthy Lifestyle
By eating the right food, getting enough exercise, and having enough sleep can help with combating depression. So ensure that your teen gets all.