The teen years can be like navigating through a minefield. Angry outbursts, daily drama, slamming doors, crying, threats, identity crisis, and so many more emotions that come along with the changes going on inside the teenage world. So how can we tell if what our teenager is experiencing is just normal teenage stuff and when it is something serious and dangerous?
Teen depression helpline 888-325-2454
No one knows your teen better than you. As parents, the teen years can be the most stressful years of all. They stop talking to us, sharing their day, asking for advice, and letting us in. That makes the challenge of seeing signs of serious problems a lot more difficult. Our teens are bombarded with so many negative and stressful things from the addictive world of social media to the mass shootings in the news to teen suicides being on the rise due to cyber bullying. Their generation is the first to have to deal with this self esteem destroyer described as connecting with your friends when in reality social media is a place to compare, compete, and be told horrible things. The lack of self-esteem can be one of the biggest triggers to your teen falling into depression, having anxiety, and feeling deep despair. There are a few signs that help you determine if your teen is just going through typical teenage angst or a more serious mental illness.
Things to be concerned about:
-Withdrawal from family and friends
-Poor performance in school
-Excessive crying, sadness or hopelessness
-Excessive anger and lashing out
-Physically feeling pain, headaches, stomach aches
-Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
-Lack of concentration
There are things you can do at home to help ease your child out from the dark cloud of depression. You will need to be open, loving and calm. Open a dialogue and really listen. Now is not the time for lecturing. Make sure you validate their feelings and that you aren’t belittling what they are going through. To them it is overwhelming and very real. Make sure you are connecting with your teen everyday with your full attention. Suggest volunteering together with a cause they are interested in. Encourage them to go out with friends or have friends over for some pizza and movies. Try to have them sign up for a sport or activity that they enjoy. Cooking, art, basketball, dance, or any number of social and fun activities to help them experience fun and positive experiences.
A healthy lifestyle is directly connected to a healthy mind. Exercise and balanced nutrition is a must to support feeling good, sleeping well, having energy and avoiding the moodiness that comes with a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. These changes will benefit the whole family. If there are siblings, bring them into the healthy lifestyle plan. Take family hikes or long walks with the dog. It is amazing what happens to our daily mood when we adopt a healthy body.
Many times teens who suffer from depression use drugs or alcohol in an attempt to cope with their mental issues. But, by self medicating the teen will inevitably place themselves in a worse mental state and their issues will only become more unmanageable. If you know someone who has a teenager who may be suffering from addition or are looking for a teen rehab for alcohol abuse please call the helping and speak with a specialist.
When you see any kind of dangerous behavior, self harm, talk of suicide or anything that is alarming, that is the time to seek professional help. There are facilities that are filled with teens getting better, having hope, feeling positive and learning tools to help them if they begin to slip back into depression. There is no right therapist for everyone. We all respond to different styles and personalities so make sure your teen is involved in the process of choosing who they are going to be opening up to and trusting if at all possible. There are many types of therapy and it is important to make sure there is family therapy as well. Family therapy is a way to get the tools each of you need and to reconnect as a family. Being involved in the treatment process will help you understand different things your teen may be going through. Your teen will see that they are not alone. They will feel less hopelessness seeing the teens who have advanced through the program and are now helping the incoming kids. The road to recovery will have many bumps and turns so make sure you focus on the progress no matter how small it might be. Medication may be an option and one that should be thoroughly investigated to make sure your teen responds well to what is prescribed. Antidepressants come with their own side effects and risks so proceed with caution. They can also help your teen manage their thoughts and emotions
Professional therapy may be able to build the bridge of mutual understanding, to give your full support and to work through some hurts that were caused in the process of seeking help. If you think your teen might be clinically depressed, have them professionally evaluated and start them on the path to recovery.
CouplesRehabs.org provides information about addiction and recovery. If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction or mental health issues and is not receiving treatment please contact our helpline at 888-325-2454