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How to Help a Teen With Depression

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For many parents, the fact that your teen has a mental illness can be terrifying. As one of the most common mental illnesses Teenage depression is experienced by millions around the world and should not be ignored. Regardless of your age or background, you can suffer from depression, which can affect every aspect of your life. Depression robs you of the simple joys of daily life and can lead to other mental illnesses or other problems such as drug or alcohol abuse. Depression is difficult for anyone to confront and manage, and it is especially challenging for teenagers.

Here we take a closer look at teen depression, common signs of depression in teenagers, and how you can help your teen if they have depression. You can feel helpless when your teen has depression or any other mental illness, but it’s important to realize that you can still make a difference. Read on to learn how you can help a teen understand symptoms of depression and then deal with them.

WHAT IS TEEN DEPRESSION?

Depression is much more than just feeling sad or feeling like you’ve been in trouble for a few days. Depression is a condition that affects millions of people around the world, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, or gender. According to the Mayo Clinic depression can be understood as a serious mental health problem that causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities.

Depression can be a chronic condition that affects your entire life. Teenagers with depression can become overwhelmed by these feelings of sadness and hopelessness, which can then lead them to withdraw from the activities and people they normally enjoy. Of course, occasional mood swings are perfectly normal for a teen, but when the feeling of sadness begins to affect their quality of life, your teen can have a real and serious mental illness.

INDICATING DEPRESSION IN ADOLESCENTS

While each case of depression is unique to the individual, there are common signs that can help you identify if your teen is suffering from this mental health problem. In general, the signs of depression in teenagers are usually chronic and persistent, which distinguishes depression from a simple bad mood or bad week. If these signs persist for an extended period of time, it may be time to seek professional help. Common signs of depression in teenagers can be relieved by either an emotional change or a behavior change. Here’s a closer look at the most common signs of depression in teenagers:

Emotional changes:
  • Intense and persistent feelings of sadness.
  • Feeling empty or hopeless.
  • Low self esteem.
  • Very sensitive to rejection, failure, or mistake.
  • Loss of interest in activities and connections.
  • Problems focusing and concentrating.
  • Outbursts of anger (often with minor problems).
  • Thoughts of death, self-harm, or suicide.
Behavior changes:
  • Lack of energy.
  • Social isolation.
  • Poor performance in school.
  • Outbursts of anger.
  • Pay little attention to their appearance or hygiene.
  • Insomnia.
  • Often excited or restless.
  • Physical pain or pain.
  • Use of drugs or alcohol.
  • Self harm.

If you notice your teen (or a loved one) is experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be time to open the discussion and see how you can help. However, it’s also important to know that having one or more of these symptoms does not mean that your teen is suffering from depression. The teenage years are notoriously turbulent and certain acts like irritability or insomnia can easily indicate other problems. This is why it is so important to speak to your teen to determine what exactly they need.

HOW TO HELP A TEEN WITH DEPRESSION

When your teen is suffering from depression, it can seem overwhelming at first. You are not a doctor so how can you help them with this condition? Most importantly, you start with open and clear communication. You may not be able to fully help your teen understand and manage their depression, but you will nonetheless play a vital role in helping them find the right source of help. It is important that you have the conversation first and try to understand what exactly your teen is going through.

If you and your teen feel that additional help is needed, you should see your doctor or a trusted psychiatrist. If you’ve never worked with a mental health expert before, your primary care doctor can refer you to a trusted and experienced person who can help you.

In many cases, psychotherapy, or “talk therapy”, is extremely effective in helping people identify and then manage their depression. Depression doesn’t just go away, but you can develop habits that will help you manage the symptoms and lead happy, healthy, and productive lives. Of course, each case of depression is unique, which is why it is so important to work with an expert who can diagnose and then develop a personalized treatment plan.

CONCLUSION: HOW TO HELP A TEEN WITH DEPRESSION

Millions of people around the world suffer from depression. While people of any age can suffer from this mental disorder, depression is common in teenagers and young adults. Dealing with depression makes the struggles of adolescence even more difficult as you face daily challenges while battling depression. While teenage depression is certainly a challenge, it doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. If you notice Symptoms of depression in teenagers with one of your loved ones, there are steps you can take to help them.

There are many ways you can help a depressed teen. First of all, it is important to listen and open up the lines of communication. Talking about and actually facing this mental illness is a very important and often difficult first step. When you start this conversation, focus on coming from a place of love and compassion. If your teen wants professional help, see your doctor for a referral to a trusted mental health expert. By working with an expert in the field, you can get your teen on the best path to recovery and provide them with the help they need.

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