What Parents Can Do To Help Their Teen Battle Depression And Itâ€™s Side Effects Written By: Triniti K. Guy Depressive disorders (unipolar depression) are mental illnesses characterized by a profound and persistent feeling of sadness or despair and/or a loss of interest in things that once were pleasurable. Disturbance in sleep, appetite, and mental processes are a common accompaniment. According to Center For Discovery in America 20% of teens have to deal with depression, and between 10% to 15% have considered taking their life or give into self mutilation. But how can parents help their teens with these problems? Knowing the Signs Before parents can help their teens with their problems, such as depression, suicidal thoughts, or self-mutilation they must know the signs. There are signs that are easy to see but others are a little harder to recognize. Some symptoms include being constantly sad, irritable, or angry. Another sign would be that they don't want to do anything anymore, they don't think that anything is fun anymore, or they sleep too much, and even to little, anything and everything makes them sad, or makes them cry. They are always feel helpless and/ or hopeless. The harder things for parents to see are when their teens have frequent, unexplained headaches or other physical problems, or they gain or lose weight without trying to and it just happens. Parents may not see this sign, but someone else might. If a teen talks about suicide or they want to start hurting themselves, this is when friends, family, or teachers need to get them immediate help from a professional and even a school counselor. How to Help Parents, helping teen can be a lot harder than most people think. Before parents can help with self-mutilation, and suicide, parents must know how to help teens with depression get past the problem they already have. Now it is perfectly normal for teens to go through a phase of being sad, or irritable, but when they are always feeling this was and just can't push the feeling, then thatâ€™s when thereâ€™s a problem and parents should come in to help. A way that parents can help their teens with this feeling is, just to talk about it, some people think that talking about their sad feelings(or even just their regular feelings) will make them worse. But maybe teens are not comfortable talking about their feelings with a parent, but they are okay with talking about it with a friend, or maybe even a therapist then get someone to talk to the child, that will help the
teen and it will help the parents stop worrying about the fact that their child may be depressed. Self-Mutilation and Suicide Another thing that parents have to worry about is the fact that is the teen just says that they are okay, but in reality they are not, so their depression gets worse and worse to the point where they want to hurt themselves, now that can be either self-mutilation, or in worse cases suicide. If there are parents out there wondering what self-mutilation is. According to The Gale Encyclopedia of Children's Health, â€œSelf-mutilation, also called self-harm, self-injury or cutting, is the intentional destruction of tissue or alteration of the body done without the conscious wish to commit suicide, usually in an attempt to relieve tension." Most times when teens have commited to self-mutilation it is because they are too scared to commit suicide. According to Gale Virtual References one in every 100 individuals in the United States, or more than 2.5 million people, are self-mutilators. It also says that girls are four times more likely to engage in self-harm than boys, with girls between the ages of 16 and 25 at highest risk, although many girls begin cutting in middle school at the ages of 12 or 13. Now parents it is shown that people that participate in self-mutilation have a mental disorder. Parents there are ways to understand if a teen is participating in self-mutilating, parents can look to see if they have higher anxiety levels, anger, sadness, lower self-esteem, difficulty handling their feelings, no longer doing well in school or at work, or maybe they could be having relationship problems and they believe that it is their fault so they take the anger out on themselves. Anger, anxiety, and sadness are the main reasons why teen participate in self-mutilation, they believe that hurting themselves is a way to relieve how they feel. Parents also need to know that self-mutilation is not only getting a razor and cutting themselves, yes it may be the most common type, but there are other ways. When teens mutilate they sometimes even bit, hit, or bruise themselves, pull at their own skin and/or hair, or burn themselves with a candle and even a cigarette. All in all depression is the leading cause of self mutilation and suicide. Parents must know that this is not a joke, and it is not something that should be joked about. Parents when signs of depression are seen take action immediately, talk to them about what is going on. Like I said before if they are not comfortable talking about their feeling with the adult figure then parents should get them to talk to counselor, and even talk to a friend. Again parents if any signs of depression, self-mutilation, and even suicide are seen, seek the help of a professional.