Parents often commit the mistake of misinterpreting the signs of depression on their teenage children. Since every child experiences a sudden change of attitude and some mood swings right after reaching puberty, parents frequently construe these personality problems as something normal and usual. But the sad truth is the issue might actually be more than common growing up problems. Eventually, most of us realize that there’s actually more to it when it’s all too late.
Depression among teens is very common these days and the effects can be very devastating. It can lead to suicidal tendencies and/or violent behavior. The thing is most parents ignore signs of depression thinking that there’s a very slim chance their teens may actually be experiencing them.
In reality however, teen depression is felt by thousands of teens and adolescents. As parents, it’s our job to protect our children from it by knowing the signs. And by knowing, prevention is highly possible. So if you have a sure feeling that your teen is showing those signs, here are the things you might want to do to help:
1. The first and most important action is talk with your teen. You tell him that something’s bothering you about his condition and that you’re suspecting he’s having depression issues. Be frank about it. Tell him what you know about depression and relate to him that most of the signs pinpoint to him. By doing so, you get to indirectly ask what’s actually bothering him. He might find some excuse or answers in defense but the main thing is you have showed him that you’re there to help and care.
2. After, convince (not force) him to see a doctor. Be certain to assure him that you will go with him. For most teen depression cases, physical trauma or abuse may be causes of showing depression symptoms. There’s no other way in finding out than seeking the help of a doctor.
3. Also, try to revisit or examine your teen’s medical history. Ask questions like: has he been diagnosed with behavioral disorders before? Are there any signs from the medical history that he’s been depressed before?
4. Psychologists are also well equipped and trained to handle these kind of teen depression issues so seeking their help is also advisable. Tell your child that you will go there not for therapy but as consultation only. Do not make him suddenly feel that he’s sick.
5. Most of all, there is no need to talk to anyone about your child’s condition. Although you are suspecting a depression, there are no solid proofs yet and if in case there is, there is still no point in telling anyone about it. Remember that your teen is at a very early stage of his life and he may become very sensitive to those kinds of issues.