Helpful Guide for Parents on Teen Depression
The teenage years are a tough phase, but it gets more challenging and draining for teenagers who are experiencing extreme sadness and loneliness. Teen depression takes a heavy toll on parents. It is hard to detect and often, it is associated with their raging hormones. Parents perceive their change in mood and behavior as a part of their growing-up years.
Teen depression is a serious mental health condition that is linked with persistent feelings of isolation, hopelessness, and even anger. Based on data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 1.9 million children and teenagers (aged 3-17 years old) who are diagnosed with depression. With this heaping number, not all of them received therapy near me, counseling, or any forms of help.
How to help your teenagers with depression?
As parents, you know that you are the primary person that should understand and help with what your teenager is going through. However, you are also the very person that they avoid talking to. If you suspect that your teenager is suffering from depression and you are at a loss on what to do, here is a helpful guide.
1. Listen more.
Teenagers find your lectures and nags as a form of attack or abandonment. At this age, they become sensitive, moody, and irritable and it gets worse when they feel depressed.
Learn to listen more to what your teenager wants. It is not a crime when you choose to be less authoritative over them. Give them time to express their feelings even if they are extreme. Resist the urge to criticize and pass judgment.
Talking to you may seem a little awkward but once they feel that your intention is good and loving, they will open up to you in no time. Connect with them and let them be comfortable talking to you.
It is through listening more that helps you pick up bits of hints of any self-harm or suicidal thoughts.
2. Acknowledge their feelings.
Just because you do not fully understand what they are going through, their feelings are instantly wrong and unacceptable. Their feelings are as important as yours. Validating them means that they are real.
Some parents do not know that depression can happen to teenagers. They misconstrued their moodiness and irritable behavior as being rude and rebellious.
However, when you acknowledge their emotions, you build a safe ground for them. It is a way of showing them there is nothing to be afraid of.
Do not ever tell them that they are being silly and unreasonable. Or that they are overreacting and exaggerating over certain things. Letting them know that you take them seriously is enough proof that you support and understand them.
3. Encourage them to do some activities with you.
One obvious sign of teen depression is finding alibis and excuses to do any social activities and interactions. Depressed teenagers avoid being in a crowd and they have no energy to do any tasks.
This can become a difficult job for you as a parent. You certainly do not want to push your teenager to do things they do not like. It may even push them farther away from you.
Start with household chores. You can ask your teenager to fix your computer or install an app on your phone. When you are gardening, assign them to add the soil or water the plants. This way you have time to talk to them. They will also see that they are never alone.
Choose activities that you can do with them or with your spouse. The main point here is keeping their minds busy and letting them feel that they are useful and important.
4. Ask for professional help.
Most teenagers see therapy near me and counseling as an exhausting means to being well. They refuse to talk about their feelings especially to strangers. This is hard to deal with but a very important one.
When you see and feel that there is nothing more you can do, do not hesitate to ask for professional help. Therapists and psychologists around Riverside, California, Corona, California, and Los Angeles, California are trained to deal and cope with teenage depression.
If you are looking for trusted and knowledgeable people in the field, Mindshift Psychological Services is the place to be. They offer a wide range of services for your teens – teen therapy, depression therapy near me, and family therapy.
You may set up an appointment through their website or contact them at (714) 584-9700.
5. Support them through their depression treatment.
Parents have this misconception that once their teens are receiving treatments, then they have nothing else to do. As a matter of fact, you still have to do a lot.
Teenage depression does not just go away overnight once they undergo therapy or counseling. Your teenagers need your support and love while they are being treated. You cannot just leave them to the hands of professional therapists and psychologists, you need to be there and monitor their progress.
It may take a while for them to be better, but your presence and patience can help in the process. You are in the best position to help your teenagers battling depression. Choose the most helpful way to combat teenage depression.