Coping with depression can be a challenge. Parents can help teens cope with depression. There are also teens can do to help themselves deal with depression. This article has information and tips to help everyone know how to cope with teen depression.
High stakes are involved when coping with teen depression and is not to be gambled with. Emotions are rolling high during adolescence and can be easily dismissed as typical teenage behavior. Becoming aware of the warning signs of depression can help both the teen and the parent when dealing with most levels of depressed behavior. A teen may show symptoms of depression in a variety of ways. Teens differ to adults when reacting to depression. Teens may become more irritable and angry clearly making it hard to differentiate between depressions or having a bad day. Other symptoms include hopelessness, decline in interest of activities once enjoyed, sleeping disorders, sadness, changes in eating habits, isolation, and decline in grades at school. What is the best way to deal with teens when they put all their cards on the table?
What parents can do
It is important for parents not to deal any more low cards or pressures to their teen. They need to be listened to and understood with a hand of comfort, love, and acceptance. It is important that the teen feels validated in their thinking because the feelings they are experiencing are real to them even if they seem trivial to an adult or parent. Parents should take the time to genuinely listen to their teen without judgments or criticism. This allows the teen to unload their trapped feelings sending them to the jackpot at the end of the road to recovery. Admitting to or recognizing that they may have depression is rather difficult. Be there as a parent to let them know you are there for support and will help them whenever they are ready. Teens aren’t necessarily looking for someone to give them advice but rather to know they have unconditional love and support especially through traumatic or stressful times. Once your teen begins to convey their feelings, let them talk! Interrupting or controlling the conversation is not helpful during this stage of depression. Be a good listener without throwing out a lot of counsel or blame. Let your teen know the possibility they may be depressed and discuss alternatives for getting the help they need.
Experts say that 20% of teens with depressed symptoms go untreated which is unsettling because of the high risk of teen suicide among depressed teens nationwide. Depression is known to be one of the precedent factors towards suicidal thoughts and actions. What is more frightening is that suicide is one of the front runners for cause of death amid teens and adults under the age of 35. Parents are basically playing Russian roulette by ignoring the warning signs of depression.. Take aggressive action if necessary to get the help your teen needs. It is the parent’s responsibility to recognize the signs of depression whereas teens have a more difficult time admitting that anything is wrong. If symptoms of depression continue, talk to your family doctor and begin the process for a full screening on depression. Depression is not a game and sometimes needs to be dealt with by professionals.
Self help for teens
Depression is created by many factors. Teens should be aware that in most cases, depression is not their fault. Chemical changes during adolescence mixed with changes in their environment can cause bouts with depression. Knowing they are not alone can bring comfort and piece of mind. Many teens are faced with some characteristic of depression every day. There are many ideas that can help when feelings of depression begin to set in.
Avoid isolation/ talk to friends and family
It is a natural reaction during the depressed state to want isolation from others and society. Separation from others will help fuel the emotion causing a more intense depression. Keeping yourself around friends and family can help the problem seem less severe It is imperative to share your feelings of doubt, sadness, and hopelessness with someone you trust. Hang out with positive, fun, and solid friends that will help lift you in times of turmoil. Stay away from friends that display negative thoughts, drug or alcohol abuse, or engage in activities which bring temporary pleasure. Keeping oneself social is the best wildcard for staying straight on course. Holding to the mainstream will allow you the ability to heal faster and fight the urge to retreat to lonely ground.
Make healthy choices
Exercise and diet are other wild cards that can be used to enhance quality of mood and outlook. It has been proven that exercise releases endorphins immediately escalating feelings of happiness. It can be as simple as going for a walk, riding a bike, or getting involved in sports activities. Foods high in nutrition are also known to have positive effects on mood. Stay away from foods that cause fatigue or restlessness. Adequate sleep can heighten mood where lack of sleep can lower mood into a depressed state. Fill your body with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Seek ideas for a well balanced diet best suited for you.
Avoid drugs and alcohol
Use of substance may appear to be a solution for covering up symptoms of depression. That is false. Drug and alcohol use can worsen symptoms of depression or even cause signs of depression that weren’t once present. Regular use of drugs or alcohol can eventually lead to thoughts of suicide and or addiction. Professional help would then be needed for treatment for the substance addiction, suicidal tendencies, and depression.
Talk to your parents
Though parents seem to live on another planet, they love you and have real concern for your well being. Talk to them about your feelings and then talk again until they get it. If you don’t feel you can communicate your feelings to your parents, talk to someone you can like a school counselor, teacher, coach, relative or close family friend. Acknowledging depression is the beginning to the road to recovery.
As depressed teens lay all their cards on the table, parents and friends can be more aware of the emotional difficulties they are going through. Treat depression with delicacy, understanding, and genuine concern. Know when to hold them so in the difficult times, they don’t fold to the realms of hurt and despair of which depression can cause.