Depression in teens can be very hard to recognise. Read on to find out the symptoms to look for, how to build a support network for your teenager and what you will need to do to get yourself and your child through this difficult time if you think they may be suffering from depression in teens.
- Step1: Get informed. The most common causes of depression in teens are... the loss a close family member, a family history of depression, an unstable upbringing, an abusive parent or career and any pre-existing behavioural or attention disorders can also contribute. Girls are more likely to suffer than boys, but boys are less likely to discuss their problems or any feelings of depression. If it goes untreated, depression in teens can become extremely serious. In some cases the depression has worsened, it can lead to depression in adulthood and it increases the risk of suicidal tendencies. Make sure you read as much information as possible. Don't assume it's a phase, depression in teens must be taken seriously and treated.
- Step 2: The symptoms. The following symptoms can be signs of depression in teens... spending more time alone, not spending time with friends, a noticeable lack of enthusiasm, more tired than usual, a bleak outlook on life, change in diet (eating more/less), insomnia or oversleeping, tired and fatigued, trouble with memory and concentration, easily frustrated and irritable. If your teen has constantly displayed more than three of these symptoms for more than two weeks they may be suffering from depression in teens and it's time to take action.
- Step 3: Building a support network. Try talking to your teenager, try to get to the bottom of the way they're feeling, but don't push too hard. This may be difficult as they may not want to share their feelings. If you have a close relationship with one of your son or daughters friends, they can help you understand whether your child is a depression sufferer-try talking to them they may have the answers. Try to be there for you child as much as possible, share the burden with your spouse and other family members. You could even involve their close friends in the group, the more support your teenager has the more secure they will feel.
- Step 4: Beating depression. If you think your child may be suffering from depression in teens, it's time to get help. Visit your doctor and get your child diagnosed. Your doctor will be able to tell the various forms of medication available. Be sure to also enquire about the possibility of talking therapies as a cure. CBT: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is one of the most successful ways of dealing with and helping to cure depression in teens. You may also be able to offer your teen some alternative remedies. St Johns Wort is a natural antidepressant that may help to make your son/daughter start to feel better. Try to make their life fun, and less stressful. Remember... the small things you do will make a big difference.
I hope my advice has helped you realise that depression in teens is treatable and that there is a lot of help out there for you and your child. Click on the links below if you would like more information on Depression in Teens.