How Parents Can Help Adolescents With Depression

How Parents Can Help Adolescents With Depression

Studies show that 13.84% of children/adolescents report suffering from at least one major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year. 

Many believe that this number is on the rise every year.

And it is quite disturbing, to say the least.

If you are a parent, you would not be joyful to see your ward overcome depression.

This is why this article will discuss how you can help your child(ren) deal with depression.

One of the first steps to doing this is identification.

You must first identify that your child is actually depressed.

Here are some signs to look for in your children to help you tell if they are actually depressed.

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Signs Of Depression In Adolescents

Now, if your adolescent shows most of these symptoms there is a big chance they are depressed. But these signs can also be present in non-depressed adolescents.

  • Your adolescent no longer enjoys what used to make them happy.
  • Making certain bad decisions or being indecisive.
  • Their grades may start to drop.
  • They may have the sudden desire to be alone most times; refusing to hang out with family and friends.
  • Being in a sad, angry, or irritated mood most of the time.
  • A significant change in size– could be rapid weight gain or loss.
  • Crying more often and for seemingly no reason.
  • Sometimes they may spend their entire day sleeping or just laying in bed. This normally happens recurrently.
  • No interest in doing house chores. They usually leave their room in a mess most times.
  • Thoughts of suicide and death.

If you fear your adolescent suffers from depression, here are some things you can do to help. 

Improve Their Mental Health

As a parent, you should ensure your adolescent is in the best state mentally. 

To improve their mental state, your child must have a healthy diet, enough sleep, and exercise. 

Get your adolescent to spend less time watching TV or with their device and more with friends, and family. 

Also, spend more time with your kids, encourage them, praise them and assure them that they are loved. 

Talk To Them

Talk to your adolescent about what could be weighing them down.

Although, it might take a while for them to open up to you.

But with assurance, love, and sincerity, they will eventually open up. 

Sometimes depression in adolescents is caused by bullying, stress, and grief due to the loss of a loved one. 

When you find out what exactly is causing their depression, ensure your adolescent feels safe and secure. 

You can recommend a therapist to help them process their grief. If it's stress, you can do your best to reduce the amount of stress they face. 

You can lower your expectations as regards their performance in school. 

This could help take some pressure off them, automatically reducing their stress. 

Help your adolescent with depression understand they aren't alone.

Let them know that it's a common occurrence among others their age. 

You can get them busy with certain creative activities that they would like. 

Let your adolescent see problems from a different perspective, so it would be easy for them to solve some problems on their own.

Help Them Get Treatment

Ensure your adolescent with depression gets help from a therapist. 

Sometimes they are also given antibiotics, it is your responsibility to ensure they take them. 

Also, be watchful, in case your teenager starts trying to commit suicide. 

They may be talking about suicide, or death, giving out their belongings, and abusing drugs. 

Take Care Of Yourself

In the midst of caring for your ward, you may forget to care for yourself. 

Taking care of an adolescent with depression can be very tasking emotionally and mentally.

This is why you need a support system.

So sometimes you can take a break and go do your thing. 

To make sure your mental health is intact. 

How Adolescents With Depression Can Help Themselves

Suffering from depression is quite difficult. 

However, you can make an effort to feel better. 

It won't be easy but eventually, you will be glad you did. 

Do Not Isolate Yourself

Mingling or socializing with individuals when you are going through a tough time can be hard.

But you have to push yourself. 

Try keeping up with friends and family, indulging in fun outdoor activities, and going out. 

Doing all these things when you just want to curl up like a ball on your bed, won't be easy. 

However, be rest assured that eventually, you would be happy you did.

Talk About Your Feelings

One way to purge your soul of negative and sad thoughts is by talking. 

If you have friends and family who would listen to you, speak to them. You can also speak to a therapist or counselor. 

Don't let yourself be overwhelmed by sad, negative, and suicidal thoughts. 

Get Enough Sleep

When you don't get enough sleep, you are more likely to get upset or feel restless.

Not to mention that lack of sleep also puts your mental health at risk.

If you are having trouble sleeping, try avoiding all forms of blue light an hour before bed. 

Blue light is emitted from your devices, TV, and other similar items. 

These items trick your brain into thinking it's daytime, making it harder for you to go to bed.

Conclusion

Depression is a problem faced by many people today. 

It is nothing to be ashamed of, so don't feel afraid to speak up and seek help.

With equal parts effort from you, the adolescent, and your parents, depression can be overcome.

Remember to always speak out, you are not alone and you will pull through this. 

Resources 

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/emotional-problems/Pages/Childhood-Depression-What-Parents-Can-Do-To-Help.aspx 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/health.choc.org/parents-help-kids-cope-with-depression/ 

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August 18th, 2022

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