A person’s teenage years are some of the most trying and difficult. It is no wonder that many teens experience mood swings and depression, especially in today’s society where social media and the internet play such an instrumental role. As hormones change and puberty hits, teens go through a roller coaster of emotions and upheaval within their own bodies. Unfortunately, many teens become depressed and feel as if there is no light at the end of the tunnel. While some are able to get through this difficult time with the love and support of their family and friends, for others depression is just too much. This is where therapy comes in. It is becoming increasingly popular for parents and teens to seek counseling help to get through these difficult years.
Teenage depression isn’t just a phase, it is a serious health concern that causes a wide range of emotions, including sadness, isolation, loss, and lack of hope. There is no exact formula for preventing teenage depression, but there are a handful of things you can do as parents and adults to help them get through this trying time. As kids get older, their problems become more complex and it becomes even harder for you to know how to help and support them. For teens struggling with depression, this is an even bigger task. First and foremost, it is important to recognize that in order for teens to get better, they must first want that help. Depression comes in many different shapes and forms, and your love, guidance, and support are the best way to help your teen.
Here is a look at how you can help a teenager who is struggling with depression:
- Provide unconditional love and support – The key to preventing depression or helping your teenager get through this difficult time is to offer unconditional love and support. By building and maintaining a positive relationship with your child, you will be helping them through this stage in their life. Some ways to do this include:
- Talk to them about their day
- Encourage them to express their feelings
- Praise their strengths
- Give positive feedback and support
- Make sure they know they can come to you with anything
- Offer them calm reassurance and support, rather than anger and dissatisfaction when they display signs of anger
- Empathize with them – It can be difficult for people who have never experienced depression to relate to those that have, but it is imperative you do what you can to put yourself in your teen’s shoes. Depression is typically related to how they see themselves and the world in general, which can be a difficult thing to recognize for parents
- Encourage them – Whether they are interested in academics, sports, or the arts, always encourage your child to follow their dreams and passions. It is important you support them, regardless of what their interests are, and show them you are there for them
- Get treatment early on – If you notice signs of depression, get help as soon as possible. The earlier you get your teen into therapy or counseling, the better chance they have of preventing depression from settling in
If your teen is struggling with depression and you would like outside help, please contact Lifeworks today. Our Dallas depression counseling center has the resources and expertise necessary to help you and your teen through this difficult life stage. Please give us a call today to schedule an appointment with one of our counselors. We are here for you and your family.