Depression is the constant feeling of sadness that sweeps away your energy and enthusiasm. It affects your mood and motivation and you eventually feel like you are not in the driver’s seat anymore.
Teenage is a vulnerable phase with mood swings, drastic changes, and constant pressure which makes them easy prey for depression. This age requires constant attention, active listening, and unwavering support so that teenagers don’t fall into the deep pit of depressive feelings.
How To Help A Teenager With Depression And Anxiety?
Teenage is a phase known for its hormone fluctuations and mood swings related to it. As the changes observed in teenagers are unpredictable and erratic it is difficult to recognize depression and help them in the right way.
Most parents and well-wishers often neglect symptoms as they are quite similar to what is considered the “teenage phase”. It is very important to recognize the difference between mood swings and depression to help them effectively.
Here are some tips:
- Open Communication: Most teenagers hesitate to express their feelings and emotions and isolate themselves. This behavior is considered a “teenage tantrum” and is often ignored by many. It might be a cry for help disguised in the form of dramatic behavior and a display of frustration. Maintaining open communication with your teenagers helps to recognize their troubles and will instill a sense of confidence in them. Try to approach your teenager without judgment and preconceived notions as this will make them reluctant to have conversations.
- Seek Professional Help: Seeking professional help is highly advised when it comes to depression. Teenage is the phase where one explores their identity and develops emotional skills. So if they are having depressive episodes, constant anxiety, and heightened emotions it is recommended to get immediate help. Make sure that they know seeking help when you don’t feel like yourself is an amazing thing to do.
- Encourage Self-care: Encouraging them to indulge in activities that make them happy and content will prevent depression from completely destroying their spirit. When they are focused on growing emotionally and personally with the right attitude and techniques they will deal with situations in a better way. Practicing simple things like breathing exercises, listening to a podcast, and watching their favorite show could help to develop a passion for life and its many aspects.
- Promote Physical Activities: Establishing a routine and encouraging them to partake in such activities will be a positive distraction from negative thoughts. Moreover, it helps to reduce stress and improves mood with the release of endorphins which are feel-good hormones. The personal growth and fitness that come with physical activities will also reaffirm their faith in themselves contributing to positive thoughts.
- Support Social Connections: Teenagers thrive with their peer groups and it helps them to connect with people with whom they can relate. Fostering positive relations and social connections contributes to their mental health and encourages them to be engaged in activities. While they are interacting and involved with others they learn to look at life with new perspectives and positive outlooks.
- Create a supportive environment: The constant battle with depression gets tougher for teenagers if they are not surrounded by a positive environment. The little things around them tend to have a severe impact on their mood and behavior. If they are not in a supportive environment they deluge deep into depression and recovering from it would be challenging. Try to create a safe space for them by establishing a positive environment to win the war against depression.
- Educate: Educating them about the nature and symptoms of depression will help them to realize it and seek immediate help. If they do not know what they are dealing with it will be even more difficult to express their concerns. Try to validate their feelings and provide all the information to reduce the stigma around depression and normalize getting help.
- Check-ins: People with depression might not always look unhappy or communicate their feelings. It is important to check in regularly and make sure they are on the right track.
- Build Trust: It is crucial to develop a bond and foundation of trust with teenagers so that they feel confident to share their feelings and access help.
Depression comes in many forms. In some, it might be evident and in others, it will be silent and subtle. Always support and check in on your teenagers to ensure their health and mental well-being. Only constant support and care could help them to emerge as survivors battling depression.