Watching your teen go through depression can be a scary and disheartening experience. Even if you’ve gone through depression yourself and know how to get through it, you will want to do everything in your power to make sure your teen doesn’t have to suffer. While this period can be a challenging one, there are things you can do as a parent to make this process easier. Below are a few tips to bear in mind.
Teenagers can be sensitive even at the best of times, so it’s important to be patient if they’re going through depression. The last thing they need from their parent(s) is to feel pressured to be a certain way. While it will be difficult to see your teen going through a tough time, your patience and understanding will go a long way. If they know that you have their back, even if they’re not quite there yet, it can help establish trust.
Keep Communication Open
Communication is key, especially if your teen is experiencing depression. Depression causes people to go inward, often withdrawing from the most important people in their life. As a parent, you’ll want to ensure that your communication lines are open and honest. Talk to your teen openly and educate them about depression in whatever way you can. The most important thing is that they feel comfortable opening up to you and talking about what’s going on. By keeping communication open, you can stop your teen from completely hiding and withdrawing.
As a parent, it can be easy to fall into the trap of telling your child you know what’s best. This can especially be the case when you’re worried about them as you want to provide as many solutions as possible. However, too much information can be overwhelming, and it can also come across as judgmental.
Try to keep an open mind and realize that your teen also has the answers within themselves. Many teens may feel ashamed or embarrassed about their condition, so it’s important to let them know that what they are going through is acceptable and normal. Rather than judge or tell, try to listen and guide instead.
Seek Professional Help
Depression can be a challenging condition to manage on your own. While some teens may be able to weather the storm without third-party help, others may require professional intervention. It’s important to monitor your teen and check for any warning signs. If things are spiraling downwards, seek professional help from a counselor or an organization such as igniteteentreatment.com. Ignite are known for their personalized programs for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
Encourage Healthy Habits & Relationships
One of the best things you can also do for your teen while they’re going through this period is to encourage healthy habits and relationships. Whether it’s setting time aside for fun activities, family nights, outings, or games, try to include your teen as much as possible. Encourage their healthy friendships, too, but don’t overwhelm them as they will likely feel less inclined to socialize. But by modeling positive behavior and creating a healthy and happy environment, your teen is likely to feel more supported.