Teenage is a tough time. Many teenagers are prone to depression during this phase of life. Teenage depression can very easily be confused with mood swings and melancholic nature. This not just makes it almost impossible to diagnose and treat it. But, also raises the possibility of it creating serious problems in later life. Teenage depression is far more prevalent than it is thought to be.
There are several symptoms by which depression in teenagers can be diagnosed -
• Prolonged feelings of hopelessness, sadness, tearfulness, guilt, worthlessness, thoughts of death and suicide.
• Loss of interest in any activity especially the ones in which they were interested as a child.
• Difficulty in focussing on anything.
• Significant changes in dietary and sleep patterns.
• Impatience, moodiness, agitation and undue anger.
• Lack of motivation.
• High sensitivity to criticism.
• Unexplained bodily dysfunctions like digestive ailments, nausea and aches and pains.
However, there are several steps that can be taken to control teenage depression.
• Develop understanding for teenage depression. It is the first and foremost step in controlling it. Depression is a serious ailment and should not be confused with just bouts of bad moods. So, educate yourself if you have a depressed teenager on your hands.
• Develop good communication channels with your teenager. It is imperative to be gentle, supportive, and accepting in your attitude. Encouraging them to talk. It helps them form a trustworthy bond with you.
• Teenage depression needs treatment just like any other ailment. So consult a good doctor who can inculcate trust in your adolescent. You doctor can advise suitably if your adolescent needs psychological or psychiatric care and can also recommend someone qualified for the job.
• Explore the treatment possibilities with your doctor. It is also necessary to take depressed teenagers into confidence. This is a tricky thing to do. If your adolescents trust that whatever you are doing is for their benefit, chances are that they shall go ahead with your advice.
• Sometimes there is some traumatic experience that causes depression in youngsters. It could be a sexual incident. It is necessary for the parents to brace themselves for the knowledge of the worst and still remain tolerant in attitude. Feeling sorry for your adolescent is also not helpful. So, just remain calm and supportive.
Coping with adolescent depression is easier said than done. It is equally traumatic for the parents. However, they need to do it. So remain strong in the knowledge that if all the right things are done depression in youngsters is completely curable.