Depression is a mental health issue that causes persistent sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities that the person used to enjoy. It can affect a person’s thoughts, feelings, behaviour, and physical health, making it difficult to carry out day-to-day tasks.
Although depression is a difficult condition for anyone, it can be particularly challenging for teenagers who are still learning how to navigate the complexities of life.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), one in every seven adolescents between the ages of 10 to 19 years old experience mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety or behavioural problems–These are the leading cause of illness and disability in adolescents.
As a parent, it is important to recognise and be aware of the signs and symptoms of depression in teens so that you can provide the necessary support and help your child get the treatment they need.
What parents can do to help
Teens are often reluctant to open up about their feelings, so it’s important that you give them space to talk, but don’t push too hard. In addition, try not to make assumptions about what they might be feeling or experiencing.
If you suspect that your teen may be struggling with depression, here are a few things that you can do to help:
Check in with them regularly: If you notice some of the signs of depression in your teen, ask if they have been feeling sad or hopeless over the past couple of weeks. If so, then it may be helpful to talk with them about this issue more deeply and look for ways to help.
Be supportive: Listen carefully to your teen, and don’t judge what they say or how they feel. Try not to tell them what they should be feeling or experiencing. Instead, let them talk about their experience in their own words. It is important that they know they can come to you with any questions or concerns.
Encourage healthy habits: It can be difficult for teens to maintain healthy habits, but it’s essential that they do. Encourage them to get enough sleep, eat regular meals and take time out of their busy schedules each day to relax. These habits can help improve their mood and overall well-being.
Stay involved: If you notice that your teen is becoming withdrawn and spending more time alone, don’t ignore it. Encourage them to get engaged in activities with their friends or family members and make sure they are spending time on positive things like hobbies or sports.
Seek professional help: Encourage your teen to see a counsellor: Sometimes it can be helpful to talk with someone outside of the family about what is going on. A professional counsellor or therapist who is trained in this area can provide support and guidance for you and your teen.
How is depression in teens treated?
It is important to remember that everyone’s experience with depression is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. It’s important for teens to work closely with a healthcare professional to develop a treatment plan that works best for them.
Depression in teens can be treated through a combination of therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. The specific treatment plan will depend on the severity of the depression and the individual’s needs.