What to do if your teen is showing signs of depression
If you have a teenager who may be depressed, first understand that sometimes teens get down when it’s not depression – it’s just hormones. But, if they really have depression, which means they symptoms are persistent, then you need to know how to help them.
Listen to Your Child
– When your child talks to you, listen. Ask open-ended questions, and do not respond with judgment. Even if they tell you something that totally goes against your core belief system, unless they are harming others, keep your opinion to yourself at first. You want them to feel safe when they talk to you.
Talk to a Counselor
– You can start with your child’s school counselor, but you can also call a psychiatrist or your child’s regular doctor who can advise you about who to talk to. You can also read your insurance policy to find out which mental health care practitioners you can go to. They may need medication or talk therapy or both to help them.
– If your child is being bullied, it’s important to put a stop to this situation immediately. Do not allow just the child to deal with it. If it’s happening in school, call the school right away from the first incident. Waiting can be life threatening. If the school doesn’t do anything, call the police.
Spend Time with Your Teenager
– As kids grow up, you may spend less time with them because they have a life of their own with their friends. But, it’s still important that you find the time, at least weekly, where you spend an hour or two alone with each of your kids.
Encourage Physical Activity
– So many kids are addicted to screens nowadays, and that means they’re doing less physical activity outdoors. Encourage teenagers to do something outside that doesn’t involve screens for at least an hour a day. Also, encourage kids to turn off screens an hour or so before bedtime to limit their exposure at night to blue light.
Suicide is a leading cause of death among adolescents. It’s a serious problem that you need to be on the look-out for so that you can help. Don’t wait and don’t feel as if you’re interfering. It’s important to interfere in your teenager’s life to save their life. Depression is a progressive and sometimes fatal disease.