Every parent wants their teenage son or daughter to be physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. And when they’re not, it’s easy to want to jump to find solutions to make them healthy again.
However, addressing mental illnesses requires a different strategy. Mental illnesses or difficulties can not be covered up with a band-aid while someone carries on with a daily routine. Mental illnesses like depression need constant effort, attention, love, and care.
While your teen may feel isolated and lonely, you should reassure them that they never walk alone in this battle. This article will discuss five ways to help your teen conquer depression.
1. Look for the Warning Signs of Depression
Depression is a serious mental health condition that can negatively impact your teen’s life. If you think that your teen is depressed, look for signs like withdrawal, persistent negative thinking, changes in eating and sleeping patterns. Depression is different from moodiness as it persists for at least two weeks.
Other signs are suicidal thoughts, fatigue, loss of interest in hobbies, social isolation, irritability, guilt, indecisiveness, loss of motivation, substance abuse, body aches, headaches, changing sleeping and eating habits, slow thinking, and poor concentration, memory, and hygiene.
2. Create a Stronger Relationship With Your Teen
Whether you spot the signs or not, creating a stronger relationship with your teen can help a lot. Teenagers undergo significant changes during puberty, and giving them a well-deserved emotional support system can encourage them psychologically. Noticing the signs of depression gives you another reason to support them emotionally.
The best thing to do is to listen to your teen closely when he or she opens up about their problems. You should also avoid being judgmental and invalidating their experiences. Try to understand their situation by putting yourself in their shoes.
It would help if you also reaffirm to them that they can always talk to you about anything. At the same time, you can set a date with your teen to do her favorite hobby together.
3. Look for the Positives and Praise Them Generously
Depression usually makes people anxious, ashamed, confused, guilty, sad, and lonely. But if you praise your teen for her accomplishments and small wins, you’ll eventually validate aspects of her life and help her shine.
Praising teens also lets them know that you care, love, and notice them. Depressed teens need you to highlight the positives because they usually focus on the negatives.
4. Consult a Mental Health Professional for Assessment
The road to recovery begins when you seek help. Letting a mental health professional assess your teen is the first step, and can help you learn more about how to help your teen prevent and overcome depression.
Untreated depression may lead someone to contemplate suicide. Anti-depressant medication can help stabilize mood and enable teens to better use resources and tools to manage their negative thinking. Consulting a mental health professional will also educate you and your teen about how to manage depression, as well as preventive measures that can be taken.
5. Share Coping Tools to Help Overcome Depression
As you work with a therapist, your teen will learn about coping tools. Whether they continue to see a mental health professional or not, you can encourage them to do the following to overcome depression and stay emotionally healthy:
- Practicing mindfulness
- Relaxation and deep breathing techniques
- Establishing a regular sleep schedule for routine and stability
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
- Exploring hobbies
- Spending more time with loved ones
You may encourage and join them in practicing these healthy habits. Having regular time for self-care and relaxation can support your teen’s emotional and psychological health.
Consult Sarah J. Person, LCSW-R, for Depression Today
Depression can negatively impact anybody’s mental health, especially teenagers. Being a responsible parent means giving them a well-deserved emotional support system, and taking them to a mental health professional can help them overcome depression.
Sarah J. Person, LCSW-R, offers psychotherapy in Long Island, New York, to help teens and adults overcome depression and other pressing issues. Visit the website now to book a 15-minute consultation.