Have you felt that your teenager’s mood or emotions have been inconsistent? You feel so clueless as to how to manage? Some teenagers might be moody but if you feel that your teen is battling depression, plainly trust your gut feeling. It can be very challenging to deal with teen depression. But is it possible to help teen depression? If you desire to help you are looking at the right source! This Guide to Teen Depression should be bookmarked if you are parenting a young child. You might be a primary caregiver or a well-wisher too.
- According to the World Health Organisation, one in six people suffering from depression are aged 10-19 years.
- Mental health conditions account for 16% of the global burden of disease and injury in people aged 10-19 years.
- WHO says globally, depression is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents.
The good news is that there is a cure! If you are a teen and you feel depressed do not lose hope. ask for help, talk to someone you trust, or to a counsellor, if you want. Please just hold on and reach out.
How do you know if your teen is in depression? What is teen depression? This article might benefit you to understand and help your teen.
Recognize that your life is your dearest possession. We can help you only if you are alive and you will overcome your struggle with depression.”
Depression can ruin the wholeness of your teen, a devastating sense of deep sadness, helplessness, and anger. Unhealthy behavior or reactions can be a teen’s answer to depression. We need to pay close attention to recognize their struggle and give relevant help. Pay near awareness to non-verbal cues or indications they exhibit.
Some non-verbal cues of teen depression are:
Depression can enhance enormous feelings of shame, unworthiness. They might never like themselves. Statements like “I don’t like me” or “I just hate myself” are frequently used.
From some people but not all. Some of the teenagers may become quite, or just withdraw from the company of people. Or they might be addicted to smartphones, enhancing their isolation, and levitating in their depression. Some might keep occupying themselves to stop feeling whatever they are undergoing.
Extreme mood swings:
Irritability is a dominant mood in a depressed teenager rather than sadness. They might be grouchy, frustrated, or have intense angry outbursts.
Trouble at school:
Depression can absorb the energy of a teen, resulting in a fall in their academics and also poor attendance and find it hard to concentrate.
Most teens adopt multiple methods to cope with an interior conflict. They might cut themselves to free their feelings or they might make efforts to self-medicate by using drugs or alcohol (substance abuse).
Change in their sleep cycle:
They might struggle to fall asleep (extreme insomnia) or might sleep exceedingly.
Unexplainable aches and pains:
Their physical can be under attack. They might have headaches or stomachaches. Yet, not a vital medical issue. All of these show that they are under tremendous inward struggle.
Please regard that these symptoms can be very personal to each individual. Some teens might develop eating disorders or other mental health struggles or their coping mechanisms might be very diverse. It is highly essential to be sensitive to recognize symptoms. Teens can be quite delicate and it is very important to put us in their shoes to be very empathetic.
HOW TO COMMUNICATE TO OUR TEEN:
Listen, Listen, Listen
Often we hear them but we don’t see them. It is important to actively listen to them. Listening to them with tenderness and having a sensitive heart can change everything for them.
Non-Judgemental yet Persistent
Depression can be very hard on our teens. They would find it hard to communicate how their feeling. Don’t criticize them or close them out. Be gentle and affirm that they can talk to us about anything, without terror whatsoever. Be tenacious in mentioning them we are here to listen and to help you. Give them space and transit in your teens’ comfortable pace.
Respect their feelings
In other words, we shouldn’t ask our teen to get past it or snap out of their depression or say that everything is in their head. We often overlook to see teens as individuals with feelings. All these comments will just come across in their mind as “nobody takes me seriously” or “they might feel so small”. Appreciating their feelings would make them feel reassured and encouraged.
Trust your Instincts-If our teens are not willing to talk to us or if we feel they are sliding away, just trust your gut. We shouldn’t be disturbed or be discouraged if we are not the person who can help. We need to focus on the welfare of our teen. Seek help from teachers, licensed counselors, anybody who might assist your teen. Don’t be alarmed.
SOME PRACTICAL TIPS TO HELP OUR TEENS:
Engage them in physical activities:
Games, Exercises, Long walks, etc. Physical activities help in depression and also other mood disorders.
Limit their screen time:
Spending too much time on their smartphones can isolate them, fixing the screen time limit will help them meet their companions or involve in physical activity. We know that social media can have negative effects on teens. Keeping a check on their social media life can also keep a check on their symptoms of depression.
Face to face conversations:
Asking them how they are doing or how their day was or just talking about anything relevant to your teen. Talking to them from time to time, having a face to face chat helps to develop healthy bonds and confidence. Remember that depression is fought with love and care.
Taking up some tasks that your teen admires. cooking, sports, craft, painting, etc.. Showing enthusiasm in their interest makes them feel important and shows that we care about them and we take them seriously.
Making sure that your teens are taking adequate nutrients and a well-balanced diet of sufficient protein, healthy fat, and vitamins. This will help in the efficient functioning of their brain and overall health. This will also ensure that their mood swings are balanced.
Sleep, sleep, sleep:
Teenagers need to sleep for 9-10 hours of sleep every night. making sure they are sleeping well is important for their holistic well-being. Less or more sleep might indicate depression in teens.