Early Signs of Depression & Ways to Help Your Depressed Teenager?
Created by Sugandha Tiwari Updated on Apr 26, 2019
Depression can be a serious issue that affects lots of children in their teen years. But since depression is related to mental health it is a taboo subject in our country, as a result, families often put such issues under the carpet and worst is when they ignore it even after red alert signs are clearly visible. This area of health is unfortunately not even a part of school/university curriculums. Scroll down to read how you can spot these early signs of depression in your teen and save him or her from harming himself/herself.
How Depression Can Impact Your Child's Life?
It can impact every aspect of their life. During the puberty years the child is anyway undergoing hormonal changes, has to cope with issues like peer pressure, academic concerns, early relationship related things and growing need to prove himself/herself. Besides there can be some underlying medical concern or role of genetics.
Signs & Symptoms of Depression in Your Teen
Following are some signs of depression you should observe in your teenager child. Read below...
- Consistent sadness or hopelessness
- Irritability or fits of anger on insignificant things
- Frequent crying
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Loss of interest in activities
- Changes in eating and sleeping habits, loss of sleep or oversleeping
- Restlessness and agitation
- Display of feelings like guilt and worthlessness
- Lack of enthusiasm and motivation
- Difficulty in staying focussed
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Suicide Warnings To Watch Out For
Following are some watch out you should observe in your teenager. Read below...
- Casually talking about death
- Saying goodbye to friends or family
- Posting frequent negative messages on social media
- Giving away prized possessions
- Mention of death and suicide directly or indirectly in creative writing
- Showing sudden interests in weapons
- Frequently wanting to stay alone
How To Communicate And Help Your Depressed Teenager?
Here are some tips to communicate with your teen who is suffering from depression.
- Don't lecture your teen and don't nag him or her, as that is not the right way to go about. If you are not trained, do not even try to counselling
- Acknowledge and respect their feelings. Just allow them to be, if your child wishes to be left alone; please do not force him/her. Just make sure some responsible adult is always around. Do not make judgements and evaluations based on what you think is right
- Simply providing a listening ear to your child will certainly go a long way. Your listening itself will let them feel that you are there
- Trust your intuition. You are the best person to use your gut feeling for your child. If your child is constantly refusing to open up and mingle socially with others, reach out and seek assistance as soon as possible. You could reach out to a trusted third party like a favourite teacher, or a school counsellor
- Everyday make it a point to spend time with him/her. If it can be done face to face, then nothing like it
- Try your best if your child remains mentally occupied in his/her chosen field of interest or hobby. At first for sure he/she may not want to, but your efforts need to be consistent here. Even if he/she does not want to, just involve them gently by may be just observing
- Keep a watchful eye on their screen time and the content
- Take them for physical fitness regimes with you. Get them moving
However, remember to seek medical assistance if you think that there is something amiss, as there is nothing like a professional help.
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