As a parent it can be tough to watch your child hurting, especially when you don’t know how to help them. When you see your child dealing with depression, it can feel overwhelming to get a handle on.
It may seem at times like depression is not something kids should be dealing with. How can they be depressed when I’ve tried my best to provide for them? Many parents feel guilt and shame when their child is depressed, thinking it’s the result of some shortcoming on their part.
In reality, both adults and teenagers can struggle with depression. Often times, depression has nothing to do with failing as a parent. The best thing you can do for them is to seek help and be patient.
What is Depression in Teenagers?
Unfortunately, in today’s culture, it seems that more and more young people are suffering from depression. That is why it’s incredibly important to communicate the importance of mental health to young adults.
Many teenage boys avoid seeking help for fear of looking weak. This belief can even lead to feelings of guilt, frustration, and helplessness.
During such pivotal times in a teenager’s life, it’s important for parents to teach their kid’s about depression and what the symptoms look like.
Many teenagers may not even fully realize they’re suffering from depression. If that’s the case, they’ll need your help knowing the signs. By teaching them the symptoms of depression and anxiety you can help them learn to cope with stress and overcome any mental health issues they’re tackling.
What Causes Depression in Teens?
Parents will often wonder what their kids have to be depressed about. They don’t work a 9-to-5 job, pay bills, or file taxes. They have it easy compared to the responsibilities we face as adults.
But we can’t compare our stresses with theirs. Remember what it was like to be a teenager. Teenagers don’t have the experience to understand how to cope with stress just yet. Many middle and high schoolers are feeling stress for the first time in their lives.
Teens can suffer from depression for a variety of different reasons. A common one is academic pressure. This can be from current classes, expectations to make perfect grades, or the stress of college applications.
Another common source of depression in teens is social pressure. The need to fit in and be liked can cause a lot of stress on a teen. Not being able to make friends can take a toll on their self-esteem and result in depression.
Signs That Your Teen Could Be Depressed
There are a variety of signs you should keep an eye out for that indicate your child is dealing with depression. The most common symptoms include:
- low energy or motivation
- overeating or undereating
- poor performance at school
There are other signs that could also indicate depression, but if these signs persist for more than two weeks, your teen may require help.
How to Help
Each individual will process depression differently, and many teens choose to ignore their symptoms. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to get them the help they need to help tackle their depression.
You can schedule visits with a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, or therapist for medical assistance. You’ll also want to make sure you can provide a safe environment for them to talk to you. It’s important that when your teen feels depressed, they seek your advice and help.
Remind them that everyone can suffer from depression from time to time and that it takes strength and courage to get help. You can also remind them that depression is temporary and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.