If you think that you have a depressed teenage boy, you need to get him help. In this article, you'll learn three steps that you can take and why it is essential to take action right away.
Make no mistake: teen depression can be as debilitating as that experienced by adults. The last thing that parents or other authorities should do is assume that it may be nothing but a passing stage. Teens are a high at risk group and teenage boys are much more likely than teen girls to be successful at their first suicide attempt. Although depression does not always result in suicide, it certainly is a contributing factor.
A depressed teen boy is not someone who is sad. Most people don't realize that there is a difference between sadness and depression. When you are sad, you can get over it with the help of family, friends and sometimes a professional. But teens who are depressed have gone beyond sadness to feeling nothing. They are apathetic and indifferent. Life has lost its meaning, so there may be little motivation to get out of bed. Obviously, when teens don't care, this can lead to acts of self-destruction or even behaviors that seem accidental, but are really not.
There are many medications available for treating a depressed teenage boy, but what parents need to understand is that drugs are not always the right answer. Prescribing drugs can be a hit-or-miss situation because some people tolerate certain drugs better than others. Since some antidepressants have been known to increase thoughts of suicide in teenagers, it pays to do your research and learn about all the potential side effects.
Although there is not enough space here to talk about all the different drugs, here are a few things that parents need to know. Number one, all drugs have side effects. The question is whether the patient can tolerate the side effects or not. Number two, drugs will not cure a depressed teen boy, but only suppress his symptoms. If he stops taking the antidepressant, the symptoms will return. Third, some of these drugs are so new, the long term effects on a developing teenage brain have not yet been studied.
For the reasons above, many parents prefer to use natural alternatives. Natural remedies can be just as effective at treating depression as prescription drugs, but without all the side effects. Look for a good supplement from a reputable company that contains proven ingredients like St. John's Wort and Passion Flower. These herbal ingredients increase the production of feel good neurotransmitters in the brain and may be the perfect solution for a depressed teenage boy. Since these herbs have been used since the days of Socrates, they have stood the test of time. They have also been shown to be effective in clinical trials.
Once your son starts feeling better and is more motivated to make small changes in his life, take a close look at his diet. Make sure that he is eating lots of lean meat, fresh produce in season (especially leafy greens), whole grains, beans and nuts. Encourage him to drink plenty of water. The protein and phytonutrients from healthy food will support the action of the supplement, further boosting its effectiveness.
Next, it's important for a formerly depressed teen boy to get involved in life again. Encourage him to play team or individual sports or get him involved in some kind of activity, whether this means skateboarding, hiking or art. It's essential for him to start doing things and building relationships with others, so he cares about himself and his life and begins to have goals for his future.
By following these simple steps, you can help your depressed teenage boy regain his lust for life and put the blues behind him. The key is to take action. Untreated depression can have disastrous results.