Teenager is battling depression: Before we jump into this topic. I would wish to say that it is good that you are reading more about this topic and I genuinely hope this is of help in your search.
I must appreciate that the very fact that you are reading this blog. Only tells me that you have taken the first step to help your child in combatting the issue.
As parents you need to understand that teen battling depression is not something that you are facing alone.
A simple proof is that fact that I and so does many bloggers around the world are writing on this topic. This only proves that this is a problem that is faced by many many parents out there.
There is nothing to feel guilty or a failure as a parent because you are facing an issue like this.
If your teenager is battling depression. It is a serious issue and you would require help. But always remember there are parents who have faced this and have overcome and grown to be successful adults.
Take heart, cheer, and read on.
- Some of the effects of Depression in Teens
- Signs & symptoms that tells if teenager is battling depression
- Progression of depression
- Causes of depression in teenagers
- How to find out your child is depressed
- Ways you can help your depressed child
- Leading a day to day life with a depressed teen
Teenagers can be extremely difficult, and depression affects teenagers much more often than many of us think.
Teenage depression goes beyond mood swings this is a serious health problem that affects every aspect of a teenager’s life.
Depression is common and affects 1-2% of children and 5-8% of teens. Depression seems to increase, especially in girls in their teens.
As with adults, girls are twice as affected as boys.
Up to 20% have had a depression episode during their teenage years.
About half of these adolescent’s experience recurrent depression, and most depressions make their debut during adolescence.
Hence it is important for us to know more and understand if our teenager is battling depression.
Some of the effects of Depression in Teens:
Depression usually occurs in adolescence. For children, it may be that they feel more anxious and afraid of things, and in their teenage years it can lead to depression.
Note: A teenager does not need to be depressed to express anger, but the behavioral pattern changes suddenly and lasts longer than two weeks, there may be reason to suspect depression.
In layman’s terms the way I understand depression is. It is a mood disorder. Where the person has more low moods than high moods.
As parent it is difficult for us to tell between normal teen mood swings and teen depression.
But if we find out that our teenagers are having trouble managing their feelings. And life in general feels overwhelming for them.
Then it is about time that we step in as parents to help them through the phase.
Note: Do remember that depression leads to suicidal tendency. As parent it is wise that we are aware of the signs of suicidal tendence to watch out for in our teens. Please read our much-appreciated article suicide.
Signs & symptoms that tells if teenager is battling depression:
Unlike adults, who can ask for help on their own, teens rely on parents, teachers, or other caregivers to acknowledge their suffering and get the help they need.
But it is not always easy.
On the one hand, adolescents with depression are not necessarily sad.
Instead, irritability, anger and restlessness may be the most important symptoms to watch out for to tell if your teenager is battling depression.
Signs and symptoms of adolescent depression:
Progression of depression
The risk of relapse and recurrent depression in adolescence can indeed reach 70% after 5 years (for a characterized depression).
On the other hand, a reactive depressive disorder is hardly ever followed by a major depressive episode.
Causes of depression in teenagers
A Teenager is battling depression for many reasons. It can develop due to many reasons
How to find out your child is depressed:
If you notice that your child or your teen has been depressed for several weeks.
Is indifferent to something he or she usually thinks is fun.
Does not sleep or eat as usual.
Are few of the common sign of depression?
While bad mood or acting out can be expected during adolescence, depression is something different.
Depression can destroy the essence of your teenager’s personality, causing an overwhelming feeling of sadness, hopelessness, or anger.
Many rebellious and unhealthy behaviors or attitudes in adolescents can be signs of depression.
In addition, they usually have at least three of these symptoms:
If you feel that you Teenager is battling depression. It is best that you also read our article drug use. Because one of the coping mechanisms of depression is resorting to drug abuse to escape the pains of reality.
Ways you can help your depressed child:
Help your child understand the stress they face.
Then help your child to solve the problems they are facing. And to help to manage that stress.
This usually involves a combination of stress reduction and / or teaching the child ways to deal with these stresses.
Make sure your child is in good physical health by getting good nutrition, sleeping, and exercising.
Things to avoid:
Avoid blaming or blaming your child for their depression. It just does not help and adds to the stress, which makes your child even more overwhelmed.
Worse, it makes your child less willing to talk to you. Give your child a sense of control by giving them as many choices as possible.
Do read about our related article on How to spot and deal with anxiety issues in teenager.
Healthy living makes the difference:
Caring for the basics can go a long way to helping your child or teenager feel better. A healthy body supports a healthy mind. Help your child:
Take school help:
If school stress contributes to your child’s depression, or if depression affects your child at school, then it will be important to speak with the school.
Make an appointment with your child’s teacher, guidance counselor or director to talk about your child’s depression.
It is important to work with the school to minimize unnecessary stressors.
Leading a day to day life with a depressed teen
As a parent, it is natural to feel anxious if your child is showing symptoms of depression.
In the conversation with the child, it is important toput the child’s feelings before anything and look past their own.
If you suspect that your teenager is battling depression – then it must be accepted.
Children feel anxious and disappointed with the parent and often do not want to talk at all as a reaction.
Focus on making it easy for the child to tell and open to you.
You may need to stay home or be more available
For a period, you may need to be at home with the child, even if the teenager who is feeling low and not opening to you.
Your presence and availability. Constant assurance and love will ultimately be received by your child. And your child will slowly open to you.
In the event of a severe depression, a child or a teen should never be alone at home.
Try and avoid friction at home
The best way to avoid friction at home between family members is to stick to a certain timetable. And respect each other’s schedules and rhythm.
Personally, this has worked wonders for me. Not just for me it also helped us as a family to not constantly lock horns with our teenage children. Mainly my husband and my sons.
By having a schedule and timetable demystifies the way children spend their time. And brings about some predictability in their routine.
We as parents need to accept that our teenagers will…
Respect that, on the condition that he respects school and its assignment and studies.
Entrust teen with responsibilities
Parents can involve teenagers in some day today activities.
They can ask their adolescents for help as per their age. Things like to drop in a cheque in the bank. Recharge a phone. Pay utility bills. Etc.
Ask them to take responsibility, to help their siblings with their school projects or homework while we are teleworking,
Ask them to participate in household chores etc.
If your team is interested, it is also better to give the responsibility of another living being to your team. Such as a plant a fish a pet anything that your team can feel responsible for and relate to it.
Note: The key is to engage your teen. And as your teen engages with members of your family and yourself. It gives us opportunity to help reach out to the teenager and in turn try to help then fight their depression.
Also, such involvement will help them feel responsible, loved, and cared for.
Keep an eye while continuing to respect Teen’s privacy
Most teenagers need a little distance from their parents, and it is very hard to have your parents on your back all the time.
So, we respect their need for privacy with simple things like,
All the above this will show your teen that you are respecting them as an individual. You are still trusting them. And you are not chocking them up.
Prevention is always better than cure. So, with awareness, open lines of communication help a lot in preventing an occurrence.
However, if you still feel your teenager is battling depression.
While it be a stressful situation for you. The best resort that we have as parents is to keep our emotions in check, accept and acknowledge the situation.
Once you have acknowledged the issue at hand the next steps that we can do logically is seek and ask for help and guidance.
Help and guidance not necessarily means only for your teen who is battling depression. But it will also be needed for the rest of the family members also.
Which will be right from grandparents, siblings (so that they do not follow the same path) and of course your spouse and yourself.
Getting more aware of the situation. Joining in support groups along with parents who are in similar situation as yourself.
Gives you strength that you are not battling the problem alone.
It might also give you the strength to carry on and get some encouragement that there is always light in the end of the tunnel.
I like to make a disclaimer here. I am not a Psychiatrist / Doctor / medical professional and more about me or my team you can read in About Me page.
However, I am a mother growing 3 kids. Two of which are well into their teenage years.
I am a very concerned parent. And have been in the look out for signs of depression in my teen sons. As I have had instances where I am aware of my kid’s friends battling depression and taking help for it.
I have written this article, basis my experience, my talk with experts in this line and research on this topic. Things I have watched out for and been cognizant and implemented it in my life with my kids.
I like to emphasize that this is ONLY for knowledge sharing and information purpose. This is not a substitute for any medical or professional advice.
If you are feeling concerned and worried about your kid. Your instinct tells you to be concerned.
As a parent to parent. I would say trust your instinct. No one knows better than you as a parent to your child.
It is best to reach out to a qualified practitioner to address your concern. And do this immediately. Time is one of the main essences in these matters.
If you wish to know more on our disclaimer. We have shared the link here for your easy reference. Disclaimer.
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