Teens are being pushed more than ever these days. As a parent, you may feel you don’t understand your teenager. You can’ figure out why they are depressed. You have tried to give them everything you didn’t have at their age.
So, the question is why are they depressed? Is it chemical? If so, what does that mean? Is it the environment? Are they under a lot of stress? Depression can be complex. There can be many different reasons for it. This means that there is more than one treatment for it. You are not a Psychiatrist. If your teenager is depressed, then you need to get help from a professional. But, you are the parent and you can help.
Here are 4 things you can do to help your depressed teenager feel better:
- Make sure to ask your teenager how they are feeling. This is one of those simple things that’s easy to get away from. If they say, they are fine, ask them more questions. Try to be specific. Ask about their friends and classes. You can take them out for an ice cream and talk about their day. They may seem resistant, that could be the depression.
- Be supportive and understanding. To put it simply, you need to be there for them. This is a great time to listen to them, without judgment. Sure, they wear their hair different, or dress differently than you did when you were their age. So what, they are trying to be more independent. Think about what it was like for you when you were their age. They will still need you, but in a different way. They will make mistakes, and that’s alright.
- Make sure to notice the positive. After you have had a child for a while, it’s easy to focus on the negative rather than the positive. I know you want what’s best for your child. But, don’t forget they are human and they will make mistakes. They will also like things that you don’t. And, that’s alright. Make sure to point out what they are doing right.
- You are not alone. Unfortunately, we see many teens suffering from depression. Talk about it with your family and friends. And, make sure to talk about it with your teenager. Talking about it is one of the best things you can do. If you don’t talk about it with your teenager, they will stay stuck. Do your research on it. Read up on it or join a support group for parents. You don’t need to go through this alone. You will need support. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
If your teen is depressed, you need to get them help. Early intervention is the best. Don’t wait, if it were cancer you wouldn’t wait. So, why wait with depression. The good news is it can be treated. If you haven’t already, get on the phone right now and get professional help for your teenager.
Lianne Avila is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, in San Mateo, CA. She has helped many teens and their parents overcome depression, and feel joy and happiness in their lives. For more information, please call or email (650) 892-0357 or Lianne@LessonsforLove.com.