As a major mental health crisis facing the nation, depression is a growing problem that is often poorly misunderstood. Complex and complicated, a number of forms of depression exist from major depressive disorders that can cause life threatening symptoms, to less severe dysthymia or atypical depression. These symptoms can also be related to other disorders, such as Bipolar Disorder or attributed to environmental, situational, or trauma causes.
For teens, any number of causes may be to blame. It is important to seek an official diagnosis to begin isolating the source. Youth today live in a world filled with stressors. Grades, social status, constant connectivity through social media, familial strife, and an uncertain future are only some of the more mundane reasons they could be experiencing depression. In many instances there is far more going on under the surface than parents realize.
TEENS WITH DEPRESSION WILL SHOW THE FOLLOWING TRAITS AND PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS:
- Sudden changes in personality
- Mood swings
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Secretive behavior
- Persistent sadness
- Avoiding activities they once enjoyed
- Pessimism or gloomy outlook
- Difficulty maintaining daily routines
- Bouts of crying
- Bouts of anger
- Strange or changing sleeping schedules/habits
- Regularly tired
- Lacking motivation
- Changes in appetite (either increase or decrease)
- Losing or gaining weight
- Complaints of persistent back, head, or muscle pain
PARENTS WHOSE TEENS STRUGGLE WITH DEPRESSION SHOULD KNOW THAT THIS IS PROBABLY HOW THEIR TEEN IS FEELING ON THE INSIDE:
STATS ON DEPRESSION IN THE UNITED STATES
Depression is more than merely feeling sad, it is a serious condition that impacts up to 18% of the population in the United States. Youth are especially susceptible to depression, with 10 – 15% of all US youth between the ages of 12 and 17 experiencing at least one major symptom at any given time.
With suicide being the second leading cause of death in teens today, and more news stories than ever addressing this horrifying statistic as it applies to the world around us, it is critical that depression be addressed the moment it is diagnosed.
WHAT YOU CAN DO AS THEIR PARENT
- Look for ways to connect and spend time with your teen.
- Build trust and allow for open communication.
- Find a therapist you both trust for regular treatment.
TEENS WITH DEPRESSION CAN FIND RELIEF BY:
In most cases, teens with depression can be treated outpatient. A combination of medication and talk therapy may be used in order to alleviate symptoms while addressing the main causes behind their feelings. This combo, as well as group support systems, have been found to be very effective for many facing these struggles.
For more severe cases, it may be necessary to utilize a hospital or rehabilitation center. This is used for teens who are self harming, suicidal, using illegal substances, or experiencing other symptoms or behavioral issues. In those cases, a stable and protected environment can provide a safe space to delve deeper into the problems they are experiencing.
In the meantime, teens can help to improve their depression through holistic means. This means reducing stress, removing toxic relationships from their lives, attending healthy social functions, maintaining a fitness routine, eating well, and getting plenty of sleep. While these are by no means cures for serious depression, they can assist in improving the way a teen feels.
PARENTS OF TEEN WITH DEPRESSION CAN HELP THEIR TEENS IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS:
- Being supportive
- Being understanding
- Not putting too much pressure on your teen
- Accepting when they need a break, or to let go of something in their live
- Eliminating stress and strife in the home
- Changing their environment
- Listening without judgement
- Getting them in to see a medical professional
- Finding a qualified therapist Being involved in their daily life
- Spending quality time together with family
- Encouraging them to spend time with friends
- Getting them outside and moving
HELP YOUR TEEN NOW HELPS PARENTS OF TEENS WITH DEPRESSION
Parents often feel overwhelmed with the prospect of helping their teen in troubling situations. They are frightened and unsure of how to and where to step in with their child, without potentially making things worse. That is why is it so important to have professionals in your corner, supporting you while you support your teenager through this difficult time. If you suspect your teen is dealing with depression, it’s important that you pay attention to their needs, find help, and work with them as they learn how to strengthen their mental health.
Help Your Teen Now is the ultimate resource for parents of troubled teenagers. If you’ve sought treatment locally and are not seeing the improvements you were hoping for, it may be time to consider sending your teen to a therapeutic boarding school. We can help you to determine if this is the right step to take. It is costly, it removes your teen from their home environment, and it is an immensely stressful process to navigate. After years of working with parents and different available programs nation wide, we’re well versed in the process of enrollment and especially the different benefits many schools have to offer. We offer our services free of charge so call us today! Let us consult with you about your family’s needs.
If your teen is battling depression, and if depression is getting the best of them, we can point you in the best direction for treatment. Call us now and let us help you by sharing our knowledge and experience in working with families of troubled teens.