How to deal with teenager suffering from depression.
Teens who are talking or thinking about suicide or who are so depressed that they cannot cope with normal life activity must be immediately seen by professionals.
Consider having your teen evaluated for medication even if there is no sign of immediate danger.
Teenagers are intelligent and capable of participating activity in their own recovery from depression. Make them full partners or even the leader in their recovery.
First, start with education. Begin with the basics and let your teenager know that depression is common. Stress that it is not a personality flaw or something that they deserved to get.
If you don't know much about depression, start by educating yourself!
If other members of your family have suffered depression or related problems, tell your teenager, if you are not breaking confidentiality. It may help your teen feel less unusual.
It is especially important to let them know that feelings of worthlessness associated with depression are false feelings and not accurate assessments. Take a moment to verbalize all of the wonderful things you think about your teen. Sometimes we forget that they don't know what we're thinking.
There are some great websites that you and your teen can visit together and talk about.
Help your teen choose a strategy. Here are some great things to include in the strategy:
- Limiting naps,
- increasing time outdoors,
- keeping the lights turned on during the day,
- choosing a project that interests the teen,
- staying physically active, and
- promising to talk with trusted adults if thoughts of suicide or desperation occur
Keep the conversation going even after your teen seems to be doing better. If the depression is associated with winter, it could return the next season.
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