Sun. Jul 14th, 2024
Anxiety And Depression

Many parents who have a teenager know the struggle of connecting with a rebellious young mind who might refuse to talk or spend time with family. However, it’s important to know the difference between a teenager just being a teenager and someone dealing with mental health depression.

It can be difficult to entertain the idea that your child might have anxiety and depression, yet it’s not actually their choice or your failure as a parent. Mental disorders affect as many as 300 million worldwide, and it’s something that your teen might find difficult to deal with by themselves. You can check this page to know alternative ways to help your teenager cope with depression.

Your teenager might be reluctant to talk to you about what they’re going through. To help them out, you can encourage them to speak with a therapist. Brain imaging can also reveal more information about their anxiety and depression.

Understanding Teen Depression & Anxiety

The teenage years are considered an awkward phase in a person’s life. It can also be among the most challenging times because of family, school, and peers’ pressure.

Teen depression might not even be due to one particular reason but can be a mix of different causes bottled up inside their troubled minds.

Common reasons can include the following:

  • Your child might be having trouble fitting in
  • Social status issues with peers
  • Bullying
  • Fears over sexual orientation
  • Family conflict and difficulties, such as parents getting a divorce
  • Dealing with breakups
  • School performance problems or feelings of inadequacy because of failing grades
  • Experiences with abuse or maltreatment
  • Death of a loved one
  • Parental depression
  • Abrupt changes in routines (such as moving to a new place)
  • Family history
  • Certain medications

Symptoms Of Depression

Yes, teens might be difficult to deal with on regular days, but watch out for sudden behavioral changes.

The following can be signs that your teenager might be dealing with depression:

  • Angry outbursts
  • Unusual irritability
  • Lack of energy or sleeping for long hours (beyond the normal sleeping hours)
  • Aches, pains, or stomach issues
  • Showing disinterest in regular activities
  • Showing disinterest in spending time with family or friends
  • Showing disinterest in school or a drastic drop in grades
  • Negative or critical talk about themselves
  • Talking, writing, or posting about anything relevant to death, dying, or suicide

Watch out for signs of self-harm or suicidal thoughts. Your teen might actually act on those thoughts on impulse.

How To Help Your Teen

Encourage Them To Talk

Avoid confronting your teen about why they won’t talk to you! That will only make them feel more depressed and clam up on you. Instead, create an atmosphere where they can feel secure.

If your teen is ready to talk, give them your full attention. Actively listening can truly help them feel heard.

Doing other tasks, scrolling through your phone, or dealing with other kids can stop your teen from opening up.

If you can, stop whatever you’re doing and be ready to listen to whatever they want to say. A private talk in their bedroom might also make them feel more comfortable.

Listen. Don’t try to fill in their silence, finish their sentences, or interrupt them with questions.

Focus on what they’re telling you because there might be other things that they also want to say but can’t express.

Offer Support

If your teen isn’t ready to talk, gently remind them that depression isn’t something they can control on their own. It’s not their choice or a personal failing but a common mental health condition.

You can tell them about the stats above – that as many as 300 million people worldwide might be experiencing depression.

However, don’t dismiss their worries and fears just because depression is common.

It’s not a good idea to invalidate their pain by telling them it’s not a big deal.

Please don’t make it about you by saying you felt the same way as a teen but eventually outgrew it. Unless they wish to know if you experienced something similar to learn how you dealt with it, keep that information out of your conversation.

Instead, offer validation and compassion. Tell them that you understand or want to understand how they feel and will always support them.

Help Them Find Professional Support

“Seeing a shrink” is something that teens can be terrified of. It could subject them to (more) bullying in school.

However, talking to a mental health professional can help them better deal with depression.

If they resist the idea, ask whether they’re more comfortable talking to a school counselor, a favorite teacher, or their pediatrician. Your teen might be more willing to seek professional support if they get encouragement from another trusted adult.

Some teens might also find it helpful to take up a new hobby or even do volunteer work and other acts of kindness in the community.

No matter what they decide to do, try to be as supportive as possible without showing them any judgment for their actions.

By admin

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