Fighting Off The Blues: Helping Teens With Depression

By Catsup and Mustard
depression

Depression is not only limited to adults and seniors. Even teens suffer from it as they face the various challenges that life brings. Trying hard to fit in with their peers and facing the prospect of adulthood, the pressure can be too much for many of them. Parents should lend them a helping hand and provide them with the support they need to cope and lead happier lives.

Be Aware Of The Problem

You won’t help a teen with their depression if you don’t know anything is wrong. A lot of depressed people are not obvious of their mental struggles. They often keep it private since they think it is just merely being sad or the blues. Some might even think it makes them look like they are acting out to get attention. This is even worse with teenagers who face self-esteem issues and external pressure.

You should look out for warning signs so that you would be able to give them the help they need. For one, being sad one time is just a normal part of life, but if they show a pattern of isolating themselves and being negative, there might be an issue. Another interesting sign is deterioration in academic performance. If they had high grades before and you see their grades on a downward spiral, there is likely a problem.

Provide Emotional Support

The first step when you’re hoping to help a teen with depression is providing them with the right emotional support. It can be both incredibly simple yet also challenging. For one, you’ll have to sit down and talk with them. While there are many jokes about teens and parents having difficulty communicating, there is a kernel of truth in that. Start the conversation by opening up to them and encouraging them to talk with you.

They might surprise you about what they are dealing with. To truly provide support, you’ll need to listen to their concerns and show them that you care. Don’t downplay their feelings or make them feel like they are making things up. If they feel they have to worry about something, acknowledge that and help them out with love and openness.

Get Professional Help

teen therapy

Always consider getting some professional help. Taking children to a trained therapist can help clear things up and improve their mental health. If you’re looking for a recommendation, consult with your teen’s doctor first for some recommendations. There also should be some local mental health services that you can look up. The great thing about therapy is that there is someone with experience who can help.

Additionally, therapy can make a teen better able to handle themselves emotionally. For example, dialectical behavior therapy for teens often provides teens with ways to cope with their various issues. This includes increased self-awareness and how to handle high-pressure situations.

Encourage A Healthier Lifestyle

A teenager’s physical health can also affect their mental one. When your teen is always in their room watching streaming videos while snacking all the time, this is not good for their brain chemistry. It is much better to lead a healthier lifestyle. Encourage them to go out and exercise along with eating right.

Proper nutrition ensures that their body is in good health, which is one less worry. Exercises are also important since they can help release endorphins into the teen’s body, improving their mood and mind. It can also improve their self-esteem, especially when exercise results in a body to be proud of.

Help Them Connect With Others

Providing emotional support alone is a bad move. Teens need to have more than one person helping them out. For this, they need some friends. The problem is that a lot of depressed individuals often have a hard time interacting with others. You don’t want them to be stuck with just you as their friend.

Assist them with integrating into society by encouraging them to join clubs and other social settings. For example, you can suggest your child join a club so that they can have friends that will support them.

Many parents might think that leaving their teen alone to face depression is the right way to handle it. Some of them believe that it would toughen the teenager for adult life. While that may have worked in the past, modern psychiatric research shows that teens who have received help with their depression are better-adjusted and are ready to cope with the challenges that adulthood brings. Give your teen the assistance they need, and you won’t regret it.

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