Stress Management

A Guide On Teen Depression For Parents

Teenage depression is constantly on the rise. Almost one third of teenagers in the US are depressed. Though teen depression is a serious problem, it can be handled successfully by proper support from the parents. Here is all that parents need to know on handling teen depression.

Identify the problem
One of the major challenges that lies ahead of every parent is how to figure out if their child is suffering from depression or not. If your child exhibits one or more of the following symptoms, then chances are that he is suffering from teen depression.

* Sadness
* Frequent crying
* Social withdrawal
* Loss of interest in activities
* Restlessness
* Weakness and fatigue
* Thoughts of death
* Feeling of guilt or worthlessness

Know the causes
As a parent it is very important for you to know the cause of depression in your teen. Unlike adults, teenagers can get affected by the smallest of things. Sometimes, avoiding the cause itself can help treat the problem. Some of the common causes of teen depression include inferiority complex, poor communication skills, loneliness, and misunderstandings with friends or conflicts in the family.

Understand the effects
Many parents consider depression as a part of the growing up years and believe that the problem will get resolved on its own. However, this is not true. Depression is a serious problem and must be dealt with effectively. If left untreated, depression could lead to poor academic performance, running away, drug abuse, eating disorders, low confidence levels, self injury, reckless or violent behavior etc. In some cases, depression could even cause your teen to attempt suicide.

Talk it out
The best way to help your teen overcome depression is by talking to him/her. Talking eases out the feelings and emotions that your child may be burdened with. Parents need to be extremely careful while talking to their child.  Here are some simple things that parents must bear in mind while trying to talk to their depressed teen.

* Offer assurance to your child. Tell your child that you are there for everything that he/she may need. Your unconditional support can be a great factor in helping your child overcome depression.
* You need to show a lot of patience when trying to talk through. Initially, your child may not be open to talk at all. But, with constant persistence you will be able to make your way to your child. However, ensure that you do not impose yourself on your child.
* Avoid passing any judgments. Your teen does not want to know what you think of the situation. Just listen and offer comfort. There is no need for unwanted lecturing.

While talking works in most cases of teen depression, there may be cases where the child is unwilling to talk at all. Or talking may not help. In such cases, it is advised that you see a doctor and help your child overcome depression.