How to Help Teenage Depression
Mood swings are normal with all teenagers, but how do you know when mood swings turn into depression? It may be difficult to distinguish teenage depression symptoms from the erratic behavior that goes with the tumultuous period called adolescence. However, teenagers are more prone to major depression as hormonal changes and alterations in sleep cycles are dramatic during these years.
Teenagers have so much to deal with in today's society that depression can come easily. If left untreated, it can become a much more serious issue. With pressure at school, family situations, and the necessity of making serious life choices at a young age, depression may make such a sudden impact even the teenager may not know that he or she is suffering with this disorder. Teenage depression is often overlooked , symptoms can be tricky as they may be too ambiguous to notice. Parents must consider the fact that teenage depression should not just be shrugged off. It is not merely a phase in your teenager's life that he will eventually get over with. Teenage depression is a serious disorder that may need extensive treatment.
Parents be wary of drug and alcohol abuse
Professional evaluation will confirm whether your child may have teenage depression. Once diagnosed, treatment should be undergone. Your doctor may prescribe antidepressants and the risks and benefits of this measure are initially weighed. Alternative options include diet and exercise which could greatly improve your teens symptoms. For example, natural remedies such as ginkgo biloba, chamomile, valerian root, fish oil, and nutrients like calcium and magnesium which can potentially treat brain imbalances that cause teenage depression. Some doctors will not even prescribe antidepressants until the option of diet and exercise has been exhausted first.
When your teenager suffers from depression, he may skip social activities and spend long periods in isolation. Consequently, his school performance may deteriorate and he may become excessively absent from school. Their grades may drop and their social life may cease suddenly and unexpectedly. Most teenagers suffering with depression will almost constantly be upset, not just with their parents, but also with siblings and even friends. Depression should be taken very seriously, it can lead up to home violence, self injury, or even suicide.
What parents can do
Giving your child a sense of personal fulfillment, happiness and well-being is one of the greatest gifts you can offer to him. If your teenager seems unhappy or upset for a long period of time, try to have a talk with him. Begin the conversation casually by mentioning that you can see that something is troubling him. Don't be discouraged by your teen's likely response that you cannot help or there's noting you can do. Point out that sometimes just talking about a situation will help to find a solution or to see it from a different perspective.
If your teenager will not talk to you about her problems speak with her school guidance counselor. He or she might be able to give you helpful information about what is troubling your teen. The guidance counselor might also be able to help you assess if it would be beneficial to your teenager to see a professional therapist or to attend a group counseling session.
Should you decide that therapy is necessary, do not force your teen to attend any of these sessions. Instead, ask him to attend if only to see that his particular problem might not be as unique as he thinks. Your teenager might experience great relief in realizing that he is simply going through natural developmental stages and that it is normal to feel overwhelmed by the pressures of school, family and peers. Adolescence should be remembered as a happy experience and should not be spent in despair because of teenage depression.