Seven Parenting Tips: For Parents with Depressed Teens
No doubt, the teenage years can be the most difficult. It’s not always easy to spot depression in teens. Some symptoms of depression can be labeled as teenager antics. Usually, depression n teens go undetected for several months, if not years.
Depression can cause teens to be tearful, angry, easily frustrated, cranky, and of course sad. Teens may have very little energy, and no appetite, or the opposite they may eat a lot. Their sleep schedule may become erratic. The teens may even tell you that they feel sad, or sometimes they may word it as “some kind of way.” Seek counseling, but there are some things that you can do that may be helpful as well.
Here are a few ideas:
If the teen has been diagnosed, be consistent with giving prescribed medication. This is important, some drugs have to build up in the body to be effective.
Avoid putdowns and label teens as “lazy.” This will only increase the symptoms of depression and create poor self-esteem in your teen.
Make the environment cheerful. Your teen may gravitate towards isolation and solitude. Be intentional about including them in fun activities.
Make nutrition, and exercise a part of their healing process. Do a little research into the foods that increase feelings of well-being and foods that may contribute to depression. Exercise will help to stabilize their mood.
Listen, listen, listen. Too often teens are overlooked and feel unheard. Listening helps them to feel heard.
Encourage teens to help others. Getting involved in helping others will increase their level of endorphins.
Teach them to use affirmations. No doubt they are sending themselves messages, teach them to say good things to themselves.
These are just a few strategies to help your teen. Remember to seek professional help to help them, and sort out underlying issues that contribute to depression.