Understanding Teenage Depression: How Parents Can Help Their Teens Overcome It
As a parent raising teenage kids, you may be alarmed at the growing cases of teenage depression reported in the news. Fortunately, there is help for teenage depression. Various studies have been done, with impressive success results. If you suspect that your teenager is depressed, this blog will help you understand the difference between sadness and real depression. You will also be given guidance on how you can help in your child’s treatment.
Depression can hit anyone, whether teenager or adult. But a teenager may be more prone to depression because of the physical and emotional changes of puberty, peer pressures to ‘fit in’ and stressful subjects in school.
Psychologists have designed tests to identify depression in teenagers. Some of the symptoms are:
- Being in a deep, negative mood and can not give a reason why
- Inability to laugh
- Isolating oneself from family and friends
- Difficulty in expressing emotions
- Suddenly changes like randomly withdrawing or being aggressive
- Destructive actions like self-mutilation
- No excitement about the future
- Thoughts about suicide
Causes of Teenage Depression
Depression can be caused by one or a combination of conditions. One, it can be traced to biological chemistry wherein brain chemicals are impaired. An imbalance of hormones, especially during puberty, can cause this. Second, it can also be inherited from family. Teens are watching the adults in their lives and see that this type of behavior could be an option. This can be done unknowingly. Sometimes parents find that they are also depressed. Third, some traumatic childhood experiences can cause young people to be prone to depression. Fourth, another reason may be being raised in an environment with patterns of negative thinking, causing one to feel helpless in facing the challenges of life. Although it may seem that nothing much can be done for causes based on genetics or family issues, there is still available help for teenage depression.
How To Get Out Of Teenage Depression
As a parent, you are in a unique position to help your teenager. Create an environment of open, loving, non-judgmental environment, where your teenager is free to express their emotions and struggles. Encourage them to build healthy relationships with their siblings and peers. Volunteer to work alongside them in projects that are focused on helping others. Not only will this be a bonding opportunity, but it will also build a sense of purpose. Focus on healthy living for the family – plan nutritious meals, exercise and at least 8 hours of sleep. Since physical and mental health are intricately connected, any effort to establish healthy habits will boost their moods. Lastly, do not hesitate to seek professional advice. Aside from motivating you, their training and success in treating other kids may give you more treatment strategies. Do not give up, there is help for teenage depression. Many kids have been cured. As a parent, your strong physical and emotional support will be a big help in bringing your teenager back on track.
Our Therapists are ready to help. Make an appointment today! Call us at (951)395-3288