The worst thing that a parent would like to see is his or her teenage or even younger child suffering from anxiety and depression. At times the problem becomes so serious that you feel powerless to do anything to correct the situation. The biggest mistake that many parents make is to stereotype all teenagers and excuse or overlook their behaviors and way of living as something that is normal for children of such ages.
While this may be true in a majority of cases, as parents we should be alive and alert to the fact that many of their children could be suffering from symptoms which could point to teenagers’ depression. So, as parents we have a tough job of identifying the symptoms which could be clear indicators of such teenagers’ depression. This is easier said than done and calls for observing their teenage children closely without being too intrusive or nosy if one would like to call it.
Causes of teenage depression
There are several reasons that could have caused teenage depression and it would be important to have a close look at the same.
- The turbulence of childhood and the bad experiences during this period could haunt a teenager and more often than not, this is the biggest reason for such depression.
- Simple things like moving to a new house, changing schools, falling out with a friend, a hair cut that has gone wrong, and other such small incidents could also be triggers for anxiety which could later manifest itself as teenagers’ depression over a period of time.
It would be ideal to have a list of common triggers during childhood or even during teenage which could be the main reason for depression when the child reaches teenage. Here are a few of the common reasons which as parents we should be aware of.
- If you have parents who are constantly arguing with one another, this could impact the child and could later manifest itself as depression during teenage years.
- Domestic violence, which the child witnesses could also be a reason for depression at a later stage in life. Many parent who are busy earning bread for their family, do not have time to take care of the child.
As a child grows up, it requires love and affection and when it is not available, it develops a sense of neglect and feels rejected. This could lead to depression when the child approaches teenage years.
Parents who are separated or divorced must do so at the risk of exposing their children to the dangers of teenage depression. There are many children who see their near and dear ones dying at a young age which leaves a deep scar which could turn into depression over a period of years. Simple things like moving to a new house and changing schools could also impact children quite a bit and could cause depression over a period of time.
There are a number of other reasons too which could lead to teenage depression.
- Examination pressure and problems at schools (with peers, teachers and elders) could also be the trigger for teenagers’ depression.
- Many children are very possessive about their friends and when a third person comes into their friendship it could cause jealousy and heartburn. This over a period of time could manifest itself as depression.
- Many children could be victim of some form of physical illnesses or could see their family members suffering from such sicknesses. This could also cause depression, particularly amongst teenagers.
- Poverty is another important reason for acute depression in many children. You could also come across many children who would like to be perfectionists in their life. So, when things do not go their way, such children often fall victims of depression.
Being alive and alert to some obvious signals could help parents to diagnose teenagers’ depression and take the necessary corrective steps by way of counseling and medications if necessary.
Symptoms of teenage depression
Here are a few classic symptoms that could point towards depression, especially if your son or daughter belongs to the teenage years.
- Losing of appetite on a continuous basis is a classic example of teenage depression.
- Many children find it hard to concentrate in their studies and this could also be a reason for depression.
- Many children suffering from teenage depression also complain of stomach aches which are not related to any pathological condition. Such young children often suffer from exhaustion.
- They also suffer either from too little sleep or too much sleep. They are usually low on self-esteem and they lack self confidence.
- Many such children also lose weight without any reason or alternately put on weight without eating too much.
- They often refuse to go to college or school or are very good at playing truants and creating an unnecessary hue and cry.
- Other symptoms include episodes of crying and extreme mood swings. Violent behavior and socially unacceptable behaviors can also not be ruled out.
What To Do If you Think Your Teenager is Depressed?
The next question that comes to our mind is what to do next. First and foremost you should be sure that your teenage child suffers from the above symptoms. Once this has been confirmed, you should take a medical or doctors’ opinion to find out whether it is a pointer towards depression or a simple hormonal change which is quite common amongst teenagers.
The important point is not to ignore such warning signs and decide for yourself that it is a normal process. It would be better to get the child assessed by a stranger because such persons will be able to assess the child without any bias or strings attached.
- Encourage them to exercise
- Encourage healthy eating
- Impose a routine
Once a teenager has been diagnosed as suffering from symptoms of depression by your general physician or the stranger who has counseled him or her, the next step would be take the child to a counselor, who will try and manage the situation through what is known as psychotherapy treatments. In many cases the child sees a lot of improvement through such treatments. Only, when this does not work, would it be better to go in for anti-depressant drugs. These drugs should be given only after assessing the risk factors and side effects and the doctor is the best person to evaluate this. Find out more about these Natural Herbs for Depression!