Being a parent, you probably aren’t ready to settle for anything less than happiness for your teen. However, expect things to get pretty complicated if and when you find your young one going through depression. Often confused for typical teenage moodiness and rebellious behavior, this problem may lead to major development issues if left unaddressed. It’s imperative that you correctly and quickly recognize situations in which you’re dealing depression and do what’s necessary to help your child overcome it.
Recognize the red flags
When parenting depressed teens, recognizing the signs and symptoms of a problem is crucial to helping them out. You can tell that something is amiss when your adolescent child begins to have frequent mood swings and withdraws from family and friends. Furthermore, you may notice a change in their sleeping and eating habits, find them losing interests in activities they once loved, and complain frequently about fatigue. You may also a dip in their self-esteem, which, if allowed to persist, may possibly lead to suicidal thoughts.
Encourage them to talk
Once you notice that something is wrong, be quick to act. Approach your teen and address the issue. Let them know of your concern and lovingly encourage them to speak up about whatever it is that’s bothering them. Even if they say that everything’s fine, keep trusting your instincts.
There’s a strong chance that your teen will try to shut you out when you ask them to share their problem with you. However, don’t get discouraged by this, as giving up could possibly mean letting them sink deeper into their depression. Just wait until they seem ready or less reluctant to talk and approach them again. Remind them that you love them and just want to help.
Once you get your teen to finally start talking, just listen. Control your urge to criticize or pass judgment. Do not offer an advice until they’re finished talking and are in a receptive mood. Be sure to validate their feelings by acknowledging their pain. Make them feel that you take their emotions seriously and understand what they’re going through.
Get professional help
Depression is a serious mental disorder, one that you may not be able to deal with on your own. You will need professional help. Therefore, set up an appointment with a psychiatrist or psychologist as soon as possible. Experts on mental health can not only help your teen overcome their depression, but can also advice and guidance on how to be more supportive.
Helping your depressed teen through depression and pulling them out of it can be somewhat challenging. Parents aren’t the first choice of support for kids during their adolescent years. However, don’t let this hold you back from do everything within your power to make them feel better and happier.