Who doesn’t experience teen depression as a parent? Very frequently, parents face this problem. It is estimated that one in five teenagers suffer from depression which is hazardous to health. Depression can affect any time of a teen’s lifecycle. Fortunately, it is treatable, and parents can contribute in this regard. Most parents don’t know how to help sad teenagers! Here are some practical ways for parents to deal with teen depression.
Symptoms of Teen Depression
Teen depression is a very common issue. Generally, teens aged 5 to 17 are suffering from depression. But, sometimes, this problem is often ignored as normal "mood swings". Here are some common signs of depression in teenagers.
- unusual irritability
- angry outbursts
- fatigue, lack of energy, and lethargy
- aches, pains, or stomach issues
- less interest in their regular activities
- unwilling to spend time with friends and family members
- dropping grades or disinterest in school
- negative or critical self-talk
- talk about death, dying, or suicide
Common Causes of Teen Depression
Numerous factors can cause teen depression. Some of the most common factors are as below:
- Biochemical imbalances
- Genetic predisposition to depression
- Social exclusion
The teen years are the period when teens experience physical, emotional, mental, and social changes. The puberty of the girl teens can often be a leading issue of depressed moods and mood swings as well.
Practical ways to aid your unhappy teenager
Be empathetic to your depressed teens. Your empathy can relieve them immediately. Never forget they need your support always. Therefore, make sure you are friendly to your depressed teenage son or daughter. Try to understand them. Here are some effective ways to help a teenager to manage depression.
As a parent, you can pick a quiet time and private place to make a conversation with your teens. Ask them the reason for their mood swings. Get them to talk first so that you can get a clearer picture of what is going on.
Teens may not be open at first, but parents should not give up and keep asking with patience. Instead of pressurizing the teens, parents can talk with them positively and make them understand that sharing can reduce stress.
Be ready to listen
Parents should act as active listeners assuring the teens that they have their full attention. Teens should not get interrupted while they are talking. Parents need to focus on the words, difficulties, and feelings of their teenage child. If parents do not understand the issue, they can give more time to have clarification.
Help them get support
When parents feel their compassion and guidance are not enough for their teenage child, they can take professional support. A favorite teacher, school counselor, or family pediatrician can help them get more comfortable with the plan.
If the issue still exists, parents can look for online or offline helping organizations in their city and locality for professional counseling.
Cut them some slack
Parents can inspire their teens to be more active and get involved in household chores so that their minds remain engaged. However, teen depression may also be caused by an extra load like an assignment, homework, or something like that. In such cases, parents can help their teens to prepare their homework, and assignments to reduce their workload.