Teenage Depression

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HELLO THERE AND HAPPY SUNDAY!

Dharma is thrilled to have guest blogger Peter Minkoff join us again today.  Peter has recently written some great articles for Dharma… Who Killed Romance, Style Tips for Curvy Girls and Bad Relationship Sex. If you missed them, you’ll want to check them out!

Peter is a writer with High Style Life magazine from the UK and AU.  He’s here today to talk about the serious matter of Teenage Depression and How to Deal With It.

Besides writing, Peter has worked as a couples coach for many dating events.   To check out some of his other articles, read this one on how Millennials Changed the Dating Game.  Oh, and this one for How to Avoid Awkward Moments on a First Date.

And now onto the topic at hand with Peter.

Teenage Depression and How to Deal With It

The teenage period of life is described as the transition from childhood to adulthood. During this period, children go through both physical and psychological changes. Teenagers are known to be moody, rebellious, and egocentric. Physical and psychological changes, along with a struggle to reach independence and find their identity, make those teenage growing pains understandable and expected. Because teenage behavior can be unpredictable and erratic, parents grow accustomed to some behaviors and might miss the warning signs of a bigger issue.

Teenage depression is more common than you might think. By the end of the teenage period, up to twenty percent of teenagers will have had depression and of those with depression, eighty percent will not receive any treatment. Depression is a serious mental health issue and should be taken seriously.

Symptoms

Knowing the symptoms of depression is crucial for being able to distinguish it from normal teenage moodiness and help your teen deal with it. Depression is characterized by a sad mood and a belief that life is meaningless. Teens lose interest in activities that they usually enjoy, like sport and spending time with friends and family. There is a change in appetite, they might lose or gain weight. Their sleeping patterns change, they might sleep too much or too little. You can notice a physical slowness and loss of energy.

Take notice of your teen’s behavior. Depression rarely comes with all of the above symptoms, but if you do notice the presence of more than one of them in your teen’s behavior, it can be cause for concern. It is important to note that any symptoms must last at least two weeks for a diagnosis of depression and the diagnosis can only be given by a trained professional.

Family Support

During this period, family support is very important for the well-being of your teen. Try talking to them first, but don’t be forceful. Remind your child that you are there for them and that you support them. They might open up, but even if they don’t, don’t take it personally. Depression is a difficult thing to cope with and they might not feel up to talking about it. It is common to have difficulties expressing something like that. Make sure your teen knows you are there for them and contact a professional. Once you get a referral from your doctor to a mental health clinic, your teen will be evaluated and from there on out, you will know what you are dealing with.

No Quick Fix

Although it might seem scary for your child to receive a diagnosis, it is actually a good thing. With a diagnosis, you can start dealing with the problem. Your doctor, with you and your teen, will help when it comes to deciding on a treatment method. There is no quick fix for depression, but there are many effective ways to treat it. Whether there is a necessity for taking medication will be discussed and no one will force your teen to take medication if it is not something they want.

One thing that is definitely a must is starting psychotherapy. Depression is a psychological disorder and whether it is caused by physiological or psychological changes, it always has effects on the psychological state. There are many options and you should get informed about professionals in your area before choosing a therapist. Great results can be achieved with narrative therapy that helps the client reexamine their life and deal with their problems.

Respect Your Teen

Having a child diagnosed with a mental health problem can be very scary and you might go into a protective mode and start making all the decisions on your own, but always remember that this is something affecting your teen the most, so they are dealing with the worst of it. Put their needs first, respect their opinions, and include them in the decision-making process. Getting some control over their life will be beneficial for their health.

Dealing with a depressed child is draining on the parents, so take care of yourself as well. Remember that you are doing everything you can and that teens with depression can be helped. With the right therapy and support, your child will get better.

 

To keep up with Peter, you can follow him on Twitter.

 

 

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