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Teenage Depression - A Guide for Parents

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Written by   20
1 year ago

Throughout the whole of yesterday i was away, not because of anything bad but because i wanted come out today with a more relevant article. I appreciate myself that the whole of yesterday was not wasted.



Teenagers face a variety of pressures - from changes related to puberty, to the question: "Who am I?"

In all its confusion and uncertainty, it is not always easy to recognize whether these are normal problems of growing up teenagers or depression. Still, teenage depression goes beyond mere resentment. It is a serious health problem that affects every aspect of a teenager's life. Fortunately, it is curable, and parents can help a lot. Your love, guidance and support are invaluable in helping your child overcome depression and get back on track.

Is my teenager depressed?

Adolescence can be extremely difficult, so depression affects teenagers much more often than most of us think. In fact, it is estimated that one in five adolescents, from all walks of life, will suffer from depression at some point in their teens. However, although a high percentage of depression is curable, most depressed teenagers never receive adequate help.

While occasional bad moods or behaviors are expected in adolescence, depression is something else entirely. The negative consequences of teenage depression go much further than a melancholy mood. Depression can fundamentally destroy your teenager's personality, causing an insurmountable feeling of sadness, despair or anger. Rebellion and unhealthy behavior or attitudes in teenagers can be an indicator of a state of depression. Here are some of the ways teens "react" to deal with their emotional pain:

  • Problems at school: Depression can lead to exhaustion and difficulty maintaining attention. This leads to absenteeism, poor performance or frustration with fulfilling school obligations with once good students.

  • Running away from home: Many depressed teenagers run away from home or talk about it. Such attempts are usually a form of call for help.

  • Consumption of alcohol or narcotics: Teenagers can use alcohol or drugs in an attempt to "cure" their depression on their own. Unfortunately, these substances only make matters worse.

  • Loss of self-confidence: Depression can cause or increase feelings of shame, ugliness, loss or worthlessness.

  • Addiction to smartphones: Teenagers can look for a way out of their problem on the Internet, but excessive use of the Internet and smartphones only increases their isolation, making them even more depressed.

  • Reckless behavior: Depressed teens may engage in high-risk activities, such as reckless driving, drinking, or unprotected sex.

  • Violence: Some depressed teenagers - most often boys who are victims of peer violence - can become aggressive and violent themselves.

Adolescent depression is also associated with many other mental disorders, including eating disorders and self-harm.

Although depression can cause a lot of pain to your child, as well as disrupt your family's daily life, there are many ways you can help your child start to feel better. The first step is to learn how teenage depression manifests and what to do if you notice any alarming signs.

What are the signs and symptoms of depression in teenagers?

Unlike adults, who have the ability to seek help on their own, adolescents mostly depend on the help of their parents, teachers or guardians, in order to recognize what they are going through and get appropriate support. But it is not always easy. First of all, depressed teenagers don't have to look sad. Instead, the most common symptoms are irritability, anger, and a willingness to quarrel.

Signs and symptoms of teenage depression:

  • Sadness or hopelessness.

  • Irritability, anger or hostility.

  • Hypersensitivity and frequent crying.

  • Avoiding friends and family.

  • Apathy - lack of interest in any activity.

  • Poor school performance.

  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits.

  • Restlessness and readiness to quarrel.

  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt.

  • Lack of enthusiasm and motivation.

  • Exhaustion or lack of strength.

  • Difficulty maintaining attention.

  • Unexplained physical pain and discomfort.

  • Dark thoughts and suicidal aspirations.

How to help a depressed teenager

When left untreated, depression is very destructive. Therefore, do not wait, hoping that the situation will resolve itself. If you suspect that your teen is depressed, show your concern, with love and without condemnation. Even when you are not sure that it is depression, the problematic behavior and outburst of emotions that you are witnessing signals that there is a problem that needs to be addressed.

Start the conversation by letting your teen know what particular symptoms of depression you have noticed and why it worries you. Then ask your child to tell you what is bothering him and be ready and willing to truly listen to him. Refrain from asking a lot of questions (most teenagers don't like it when you are too protective of them), but be ready and willing to give them all kinds of support they need.

How to talk to a depressed teenager

  • Focus on listening, not preaching. Refrain from any criticism or condemnation when your teen starts to open up to you. The most important thing is that your child wants to talk. You will do best if you simply show him that you care about him and that you are on his side, completely and unconditionally.

  • Be gentle, but don’t give up. Don’t give up if they don’t open right away. It can be extremely difficult for teenagers to talk about depression. Even when they want to, they can have serious difficulty expressing their feelings. Respect your child and do not insist that he step out of his comfort zone, but show him your concern and readiness to listen to him.

  • Respect their feelings. Don't try to persuade your teenager of depression by persuasion, even when his feelings or doubts seem stupid or unreasonable. Your well-intentioned attempts to explain to him that "not everything is so black", he will experience as if you do not take his feelings seriously enough. Simply accepting the pain and sadness he is going through will do a lot to make him feel he has your understanding and support.

Helping a depressed teenager

Tip number 1:

Encourage him to actively socialize

Depressed teens tend to isolate themselves from society and stop participating in what they once enjoyed. However, isolation makes depression even stronger. Therefore, do everything you can to help him reintegrate into his society.

Determine the time you will dedicate exclusively to him:

Take some time each day to dedicate yourself exclusively to your teenager, when you won’t let anything get in the way, or try to do anything else in parallel. Simply spending quality time together can do a lot to make your child feel less depressed. Remember: talking about your child's depression or feelings will not make the situation worse, but your support and understanding will significantly help him recover.

Promote volunteer work

Helping and serving those in need is a powerful antidepressant and a factor in boosting self-confidence. Help your teenager find a job that he is interested in and that will give his life a new meaning. If you join him in volunteering yourself, it will help you get even closer to each other and connect.

Tip number 2:

Put physical health first

Physical and mental health are inextricably linked. Depression is exacerbated by inactivity, lack of sleep and poor diet. Unfortunately, teenagers are known for their unhealthy habits: going to bed late, consuming fast food and excessive use of mobile phones and similar devices. But, as parents, you can cope with this behavior by creating a healthy family environment for your children, filled with love and support.

Limit their time in front of the screen

Teenagers usually turn to the Internet to escape from everyday problems, but as the amount of time spent in front of the screen increases, so does the time spent in physical activity and hanging out with friends. Both are a recipe for the appearance of more pronounced symptoms of depression.

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