Teenage is the most vulnerable period when one would strike depression with an ongoing transitional phase from childhood to adulthood. This is the phase of turmoil when an adolescent has to address physical, emotional and social changes that cause anxiety as a reaction to stressors.
Mood swings are a part of teenage as long as they don't affect their daily routines. Learn to differentiate between bad moods and chronic anxiety. Optimal worries help them to positively cope up with the changeover, but unusual panicking for small things should be considered as abnormal. Parents who fail to communicate to their teens in this crucial period tend to alienate their children who are afraid of expressing their fears. This causes them to grow up into depressed youth.
Parents who "consciously" invest time, energy and money for healthy adolescent development would be the ones helping their child shape his future and in turn help him quickly get over the worries of teenage. The adventure of backing up your teenager through this journey would be more exciting than going through the pain of rescuing his mental health back.
Parental pressure to excel in studies versus a general disregard to other extracurricular activities can cause an unusual complex in the minds of teen. This leaves him frustrated between his basic choices and the ability to fulfill parents' expectations.
Some teens get jammed into their overtly rigid schedule pressuring them to surpass in all aspects right from studies to music, painting and even games. With schools adding up to the academic tensions, teens under-perform causing low self-esteem and disrespect about self.
Teens should be encouraged to learn skills that interest and motivate them, and also be assured that it's perfectly normal to fall short while learning and would need some time and practice.
Respect your children to help build up their self-pride. Appreciate their attributes, may it be an art, sports or studies. At the same time do not anticipate too much too early. Let them grow their natural pace without burdening them with your expectations or any other family responsibilities.
Communicate with them about issues like peer pressure, selecting a career, making friends, choices of smoking, drugs and sex with well-defined boundaries which would help them grow into your coveted youth.
Healthy interpersonal relations in a family would help to diagnose signs of teen depression more quickly. Converse with your kids and allow this connection at any time they feel like even if you are tired. Don't make them wait for weekends, but at the same time don't be so much available so as to invade their space. Realize the value of sharing your time and concern when they need it with a healthy mindset rather than connecting with them later to help them revive out of depression.
Create a good example about the way you control your life and deal with stress factors positively. Convey any of the family problems or other issues in a way that would not affect them. At the same time, appreciate your child to share their feelings of sadness or any other worries in a way they wish to. Be a patient listener and a source of hope for your child because most of the time just listening to their emotions helps them beat depression. Don't be affected by their depressing symptoms or worst is to react aggressively or make fun of them.
Generally, kids who are shy, sad and displaying signs of withdrawal are considered to be the depressed teens. However the difficult child who causes trouble at home and school could also be depressed and his behavior would be a reaction to stress. Some teens also present with school absenteeism with comparatively lower grades than before.
Many of them would express uncontrollable anger and hatred towards the family in an attempt to reciprocate what they receive. The child might want to be aloof and away from parents, friends and people, he might think that no one really understands or cares for him. Express your love and show that you are really concerned rather than keep them confused or being amiss.
Depressed teens also express self-destructive behavior and speak about death and suicide. Parents should discuss their adolescents' emotions of self-harm without the fear of inducing suicidal thoughts in their mind. Take up the issue seriously as a warning sign and get help immediately.
Unhealthy relationships at home and outside or loss of a close person can further trigger adolescent depression. Do not comment negatively; avoid being sarcastic and critical because this may be perceived as rejection.
Many other psychological and physical symptoms come up which is a natural extension of untreated teenage depression. Feelings of worthlessness, difficulty indulging in activities of fun and recreation, total change of routine with carelessness about things that were once daily chores, disinterest in most of the activities and excessive worry that things happening to them are irreversible. This makes concentration and decision making all the more difficult leading to embarrassment and the vicious cycle continues.
You need to know where it's coming from to be able to treat it. Observe what would be causing depression to your child and what would be the things you can correct yourself. You would well realize early that it's possible to prevent and eliminate most of the causes of adolescent depression at home before you approach a psychiatrist.
Psychotherapy and cognitive behavior therapy could be the next approach towards treating youth depression if parents find it very daunting. These help develop a positive approach towards behavior and developing better interpersonal relationships. Meditation and relaxation techniques can help complement the process of recovery. Life coach or a mentor with whom the teenager can openly converse should be considered to vent out their suppressed feelings. Antidepressants are an alternative to treat severe cases of depression.
Alert and smart parenting makes it possible to accompany your child through their transitional years and help them transform into a matured and responsible adult. You need to be all care and very thoughtful in your reactions towards your teenager.