How do you help a teenager with depression?

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Considered mainly a disorder characteristic of adults, depression affects teenagers equally. Marked by negative attitudes and carelessness, depression is often confused with a crisis stage specific to adolescence.

Most of the time, the behavior of the depressed adolescent is similar to that of an adult in the same situation: he is sad, isolated, discouraged, irritable and has tendencies to underappreciate. As a rule, it can convey an impression of aggression and disregard towards others, especially towards parents.

How do you recognize depression?

Not every mood swing is depression. You should be concerned about the following symptoms, present for at least two weeks: upset, lack of interest, lack of appetite or, on the contrary, an exaggerated appetite, some sleep disturbances, lack of energy, feelings of guilt or uselessness, difficulty concentrating, tendency to withdraw from parents and friends, disinterest in school and other daily activities, lack of enthusiasm and motivation.

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What causes depression?

Sometimes it can be difficult to identify a precise cause of depression. However, there are some traumatic events that can trigger it: the loss of a loved one, a love disappointment, parents’ divorce, moving to another school, school failures or some illnesses.

Lonely young people, who fail to adapt or make friends, those who have no one to vent their soul to, those who feel permanently complexed by some physical defects are possible “candidates” for depression.

Give him a helping hand

Because the teenager can go from exuberance to sadness very easily, you may not differentiate some of his states from those specific to depression, in other words, you don’t know if you need to worry or not.

At this age, the child has frequent mood swings. It is important for the young man to know that he will find emotional support in the family. Here’s how you can help him!

Support him wholeheartedly! Find the most appropriate moments to be with him, to find out what troubles him, what annoyances and grievances he has, without giving the impression that you want to suffocate him. Ideally, you as a parent should be the first person your child turns to for support when they need it. Be a good confidant for him.

Don’t be too demanding or authoritarian! The chances of helping him are compromised if you start judging him right after he starts venting his soul. Learn to listen to everything he has to say first. You will present any advice and suggestions to him after making sure that you really understand his problem.

Take it seriously! Don’t try to reassure him that his depression will go away on its own; she may think you don’t really care about how she feels. Discuss together any aspect of his depression.

Show her confidence! Some failures, be they school or love, can destroy his self-confidence. If this is the source of his depression, give him an “unlimited and irredeemable” credit of trust – the teenager needs it.

Give him your solutions! Take advantage of your life experience, of the period when you also went through some similar situations. Share your experiences with them because they might help him.

Ask for specialist help! If your attempts to help him did not bear fruit, and the problem is more serious than it seemed at the beginning, do not be shy to ask for the help of a psychologist or psychotherapist.

Doctor Click! advises you

The teenager needs support from the parent. This may not express it, but prove to him that you are with him and that you understand him. Try to initiate dialogues, this will help him to express what he feels.

Do all this sparingly, so as not to fall into the trap of suffocation. Do not minimize, but also do not dramatize the situation in which both he and you as a parent are. Try to train him in various activities that involve movement, diverting attention from the state of sadness, relaxation with the help of creativity (drawing, painting, dance, theater, etc.). However, if the depressive states persist, the parent should follow the doctor’s advice, his prescriptions – medication and/or psychotherapy. Try not to make decisions about treating depression on your own.