Does Your Teen Suffer From Depression

Today, more than ever, teens are faced with peer pressure, divorce, low self-esteem, and other life experiences which can impact their emotional well-being. Does your teen suffer from depression? Here are the signs to look for.

Does your teen have a tendency to sleep late on school days? Do you have trouble getting them out of bed to go to school? Are they not eating properly? Are they spending a great deal of time in their rooms with the music blasting? Is the music foreboding? Are there dark and disturbing posters hung in your teen’s room? Does your teen seem listless and moody? Has your teen become isolated from friends and family members? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you may have a teen who is suffering from depression.

Most teenagers become moody; it’s a fact of life. But when the moodiness turns to depression, it is more serious and requires intervention. Talk to your child. Try to determine the cause. If your child is not yet ready to discuss the problem, let him or her know you are always there for them; that they can rely on you to listen without passing judgment. Give them time to form the words to express their feelings. Sometimes, the only way a teen can express their emotions is through anger. Be aware of this, and try to take the edge off by using comforting and safe words. Above all, don’t lecture the teen or issue an ultimatum. Don’t change the subject; their pain is real – acknowledge it.

One of the issues teens face is not living up to your standards. Assure them they are loved despite everything. Tell them there is nothing in this world that could change the way you feel about them. Allow them the room to open up to you; then when they do, ensure it is safe for them to say anything, reveal anything. Do not discuss how you feel. . This will just alienate the teen. It isn’t about you; it is about what your teen is going through.

When all else fails, and you are concerned your teen might take his depression a step further, a visit to a therapist or psychologist is necessary. It can be a scary time for you, but remember this depression is not about you. Don’t lay a guilt trip on your teen by saying, “What did I do wrong!” Be supportive, compassionate, understanding; most of all listen. Really listen.

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