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Dealing with Teen Depression: A Guide for Parents

Understanding Teen Depression

Many people tend to feel sad, and it is important to note that sadness is a normal part of life. Additionally, experiencing moments of sadness or low moods does not necessarily mean that you are depressed.  What’s more, it is important to note that your child can feel sad or have low moods because of having argued with a friend or parents, poor sleep, or even failing in a test.  It is also important to note that sadness never lasts and it often goes away immediately the situation that caused the sadness improves. However, when sadness persists, then it could be that your child is depressed.

Many teenagers tend to experience low moods over a prolonged duration, which makes them feel irritable, empty and annoyed.  It is important to note that when your teen child is depressed, he or she may lose interest in things he likes to do and may also look at life in a negative way. Other symptoms of teen depression are eating and sleep disturbances, alcohol and drug abuse, suicidal ideations, crying frequently, poor grades, social isolation, just to mention, but a few. If your teen child manifests one or more of these signs and symptoms, it could be depression.

It can be difficult to diagnose teen depression because of the perception that your child is just being delinquent or difficult. As a parent, it is imperative to note that depression is a serious psychological problem that can make your teen child to end his life. Depression can also affect your child’s thoughts, emotions, as well as behavior.

So, this article will help you gain insights on how you can deal with your teen’s depression.

What You Can Do As A Parent If Your Teenager Is Depressed

Being an effective parent does not entail doing one specific thing, and the following suggestions will definitely be helpful in dealing with your depressed teen.

  1. Encourage your teen to share with you how he is feeling and any thoughts that could be disturbing him. As he shares, it is important to show him empathy, love, kindness and support.
  2. Ensure that you listen to what your teen is telling you without being judgmental. Do not start criticizing him when he begins to talk.
  3. Recognize that whatever your teenager is feeling is real. So, avoid talking him out of his feelings.
  4. Ensure that you take any references, threats or attempts of self hurt seriously.
  5. Let your child know that depression can be treated.
  6. Take your child for treatment such as counseling and be supportive of the treatment suggestions given by the counselor.

 

Treatment Options for Teen Depression

It is important to seek treatment for your teen child so as to reduce symptoms of depression, as well as impairment.  Treatment also helps to shorten episodes of depression and to prevent it from recurring. The following are some of the treatment options that are available for your child:

  1. Psychotherapy

It is important to take your teen for counseling because it can help him to not only understand, but also accept what he is going through. Counseling also enables your child to learn more effective ways of coping with the symptoms of depression, as well as difficult circumstances.

For instance, interpersonal therapy enables your child to relate well with others in a way that does not interfere with his mood and self worth. On the other hand, cognitive therapy enables your child to have positive thought patterns, and to change behaviors and attitudes thereby improving his self esteem and his overall well-being.

  1. Medication

 Your child can take pills if he has severe or moderate depression. The pills are referred to as antidepressants and their work is to reduce symptoms of depression and to enable your child to function optimally. It is important to note that giving your child antidepressants will not make him become addicted to them.

Parting Shot

It is important to note that your teen child is likely to have bad moods once in a while, but depression is quite different and its symptoms often last for a long time. If depression is not treated, it can damage your child’s personality, which can lead to feelings of sadness, anger, despair, just to mention, but a few. So, as a parent, it is important that you take keen interest in helping your child recover from depression.