Is Your Teen Depressed? 5 Ways You Can Help

It’s no secret that America’s teenagers are depressed, and the number of teens diagnosed with depression rises daily. If your son or daughter is one of these teens, then here are five ways to help your child control their anxiety and/or depression.

Offer Continual, Loving Support

According to a 2016 study, it was found out that teens who receive high levels of support from their parents suffered from fewer symptoms of depression, C-reactive protein, and cortisol than teens who receive a high level of support from their parents.

In another research study, it was discovered that positive parental relationship reduced activation of the brain’s reward center called ventral striatum. As a result, parents can assist in reducing the high levels of risk-taking by teens. Positive parental support involves:

  • avoiding pointed questions and asking open-ended ones

  • being empathetic

  • trying to understand as opposed to correcting

  • revealing support for the teen’s growing autonomy

  • being gentle when actions and words fail to match

Model and Teach Strong Emotional and Social Skills

Similar to adults, teens also go through hard emotional and social relationships. These involve college admission procedures, sour romantic relationships, and changing friendships. But since the human brain tends to amplify emotions during adolescence, it can be hard for teens to handle these challenges. This makes them more susceptible to depression.

The ability of teens to handle stress is often affected by their parents’ response to stress. Therefore, parents can assist their children to tackle emotional problems by modeling positive emotional response. As a parent, you can also assist your child with depression via emotional coaching. You can practice a nonjudgmental awareness of your present emotions, experiences, and thoughts. This can help you manage your feelings when interacting with your teenage child. This will prevent anxiety and depression.

Encourage Positive Peer Relationships

Every teen looks up to their peers for status and approval. In the case of fraught peer relationships, teenagers may get into depression. According to a 2005 study, romantic relationships, positive friendships, and social acceptance helped prevent depression and social anxiety. But abuse, victimization, and negativity in romantic relationships and friendships led to depression and social anxiety.

Friendships assist teenagers to be emotionally resilient since it helps them to handle emotional problems in healthier ways. In additional to battling anxiety and depression, high-quality friendships and social acceptance result in better physical health and quality adult relationships. You should not discourage normal group bonding or friendships of your teenage child. Don’t be afraid if your child has too few or too many friends and understand that taking risks in relationships is part of their growing up.

Help Them Find Purpose in Life

As your child works hard in class and extra-curricular activities, advise them to ensure that these tasks have a personal meaning. They should not just suit their college applications but also their personal lives. According to research, it is advantageous for teens to look for a purpose in life as they grow up. Purpose is linked to greater satisfaction in life and hope in all age groups. Parents can engage their teens by asking open-ended questions regarding what they care about, then paying attention to their answers to make assessments as to their sense of purpose. As a parent, you should practice gratitude yourself to encourage your own sense of self-purpose, which will fortify you to continue supporting your teen.

Try to Adjust Their School Environment

To achieve what is best for your children, aim for systemic changes in education which could result in improved psychological health for your child. For instance, children who lack enough sleep perform poorly in school and have a high probability of suffering from depression. Hence, some schools are being pressured by parents to have starting times which are later than usual. Schools are also being pressured by some parents to offer healthy meals for the purpose of giving better nutrition to teenagers to prevent mental problems.

If it is an option to you, choose a school that gives few or no assignments over holidays. In order to give your child better educational opportunities, you may need to be prepared to pay tuition of some kind. Private schools also have the advantage of offering more teacher attention per student, which can further help create balance in your teen’s life.

Why Drugs like Marijuana and Other Popular Cures Don't Help

Marijuana does not cure depression for various reasons: it is not possible to give a measurable prescription, it can heighten anxiety and depression instead of curing it, it can cause dependence, and different people have different reactions to the drug. If your teen uses marijuana or other substances for coping regularly, it is important to seek help or you can both learn together healthier ways of coping with depression that’s best for your teen.

To Sum it Up...

Offering continual support, care, and compassion, modeling and teaching strong emotional and social skills, encouraging peer relationships that are positive, encouraging them to look for purpose in life, and finding healthy ways to adjust the school, social, and the home environment are some of the ways you can assist your depressed teen. For more help, contact us here at Lotus Therapies for support and assistance.