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Mental Health Month: Tips for Parents to Help a Depressed Teen Jenny was a vivacious child who befriended people wherever she went, respected elders and was quite chirpy. But things changed when she entered sixth grade. Her parents noticed that she had become aloof, didn’t like to talk to anyone anymore, stayed in her room most of the time, lost appetite and weight, and was no longer interested in going to school. As Jenny turned 15, her symptoms appeared more serious. A worried mother took her to a doctor who diagnosed the young girl depression and advised cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and some antidepressants. Like Jenny, nearly 3.1 million American youths aged 12 to 17 experienced one episode of major depression in 2016, with females and ethnic minorities being afflicted more than males. Some symptoms of depression in a teen are:       

Extreme anger and irritation Feeling of helplessness, hopelessness and suicide Use of alcohol and other substances Sudden withdrawal from activities and hobbies Drop in grades Changes in eating patterns Sudden weight gain or loss

Parents should take mental health of their children seriously because untreated conditions can carry into adulthood and lower the quality of life. Many teens do not open up about their problems for the fear of being stigmatized and ostracized. To battle the stigma and encourage meaningful conversations about the importance of good mental health, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and others organizations observe May as the Mental Health Month. Challenges of living with a depressed teen

www.depressiontreatmenthelpline.com


Parenting a teen with depression is challenging. However, things may improve by the following parenting tips: 1. Communicate effectively – It is important to assure teens of unconditional support from the family to get them talking. When they talk, parents must resist the urge to confront or pass judgment. It is also important to understand that it might be difficult for a teen to communicate the afflictions of his/her mind. Nevertheless, parents should be attentive, actively listen and make their children comfortable. No matter how irrational it may sound, it is also important to acknowledge and understand feelings of sadness and pain expressed by a teen. If the child is still taciturn, a third party intervention can be arranged through a counselor, an older sibling or a favorite teacher. 2. Encourage social interactions – It is indispensable to spend face-to-face time with the child every day. There should be no distractions or hurry during this time. In addition, parents should encourage teens to interact with their friends by asking them to go out or inviting them over. It is important to keep children engaged so that they do not have any free time to while away and feel depressed. Parents should enroll their kids in any sports or a class activity. Volunteering activities boost self-esteem and rekindle sense of responsibility and compassion. 3. Focus on physical health – Depression is worsened by inactivity, poor eating habits, too much screen time and lack of sleep. Teens must be encouraged to devote at least an hour to some physical activity, like sports, horse riding, hiking, or walking the dog. In addition, they must be fed with nutritious food to maintain optimal mental health. They should be encouraged to spend minimal time online as screen addiction compromises with their mobility and time that should be devoted to real interactions. To remain fresh and active, parents should make sure that children sleep eight to 10 hours at night. Reach out for support Sometimes, teens are not able to open up and continue living in their shell. It is then indispensable for parents to immediately institute professional support and prevent worsening of the problem. When the child goes through treatment, he/she should be made feel valued, accepted, loved and cared for. If your loved one is showing symptoms of depression or any other mental health disorder, contact the Depression Treatment Helpline to get connected to depression rehab centers. Our representative can help with useful information about depression centers offering holistic recovery programs. Call our 24/7 helpline 866-619-7729 to know more.

www.depressiontreatmenthelpline.com

Mental health month tips for parents to help a depressed teen  

Jenny was a vivacious child who befriended people wherever she went, respected elders and was quite chirpy. But things changed when she ente...

Mental health month tips for parents to help a depressed teen  

Jenny was a vivacious child who befriended people wherever she went, respected elders and was quite chirpy. But things changed when she ente...

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