Tip : Support Your Teen Through Depression Treatment
As your depressed teenager goes through treatment, the most important thing you can do is to let them know that youre there to listen and offer support. Now more than ever, your teenager needs to know that theyre valued, accepted, and cared for.
Be understanding.Living with a depressed teenager can be difficult and draining. At times, you may experience exhaustion, rejection, despair, aggravation, or any other number of negative emotions. During this trying time, its important to remember that your child is not being difficult on purpose. Your teen is suffering, so do your best to be patient and understanding.
Stay involved in treatment. Make sure your teenager is following all treatment instructions, whether its attending therapy or correctly taking any prescribed medication. Track changes in your teens condition, and call the doctor if depression symptoms seem to be getting worse.
Be patient. The road to your depressed teenagers recovery may be bumpy, so be patient. Rejoice in small victories and prepare for the occasional setback. Most importantly, dont judge yourself or compare your family to others. As long as youre doing your best to get your teen the necessary help, youre doing your job.
Get Help Finding Treatment
Here are tools to find a healthcare provider familiar with treatment options:
- Psychologist Locatorexternal icon, a service of the American Psychological Association Practice Organization.
- Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finderexternal icon, a research tool by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry .
- Find a Cognitive Behavioral Therapistexternal icon, a search tool by the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.
- If you need help finding treatment facilities, visit MentalHealth.govexternal icon.
Explaining Your Anxiety Or Depression To Your Child
Holly B. Tiret, Michigan State University Extension and Samantha Radecki, GVSU MPH Intern -March 1, 2017
Talking to your child about your mental health can be daunting, but it’s good for your childs health and well-being.
For a parent, explaining your mental illness such as depression or anxiety to your child can be a delicate conversation to have. Health professionals realize this is a sensitive topic to approach, yet many suggest that having these conversations ensures and protects the childs health and well-being. Dr. Janine Domingues is a clinical psychologist in the Anxiety and Mood Disorders Center at The Child Mind Institute. In this article, she shares some key insights as to how parents can best communicate their illness to their child in a way that is healthy and supportive for both parties.
You may be concerned that talking to your child about your mental illness will make them more nervous, anxious or depressed. In fact, children are extremely receptive. More than likely, they have noticed times when you have not been feeling well. By sharing details of your mental health condition, you give them clarity, which can help ease unnecessary worry of the unknown.
Domingues offers some tips on how to talk to your child about your mental illness:
Another tool to help you have these conversations is reading books together. For more on these topics, check out:
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Read Also: How Can You Heal Depression
Learn More About Depression And Anxiety Cures Here: Can Depression And Anxiety Be Cured
Dont be afraid to ask for help if you or a loved one is struggling. Schedule an appointment with a mental health provider today. Coming back from depression and anxiety is easier with help and support. You can get to where you want to be.
Jean Tschampa, PharmD, LCPC, CADC, C-IAYT, BCC
Jean Tschampa is a co-owner and principal therapist at Life Care Wellness, a group psychotherapy practice in Glen Ellyn and Chicago , Illinois. She specializes in wellness, life transition, anxiety, and addiction treatment, and is a Board Certified Coach, as well as professional counselor. As a registered pharmacist, Jean can also provide medication therapy management for those experiencing issues with medication.
What Is Emotional Contagion
When someone smiles, we tend to smile. When they cry, we find our own eyes watering up. Psychologists refer to this as emotional contagion, which San Francisco State University Psychology Professor, Dr. Ryan Howell, describes as follows:
emotional contagion is the tendency to automatically mimic and synchronize expressions, vocalizations, postures, and movements with those of another person and, consequently, to converge emotionally.
In other words, whether your teen or tween is displaying symptoms of depression, they could be experiencing the effects of depression through friends. Furthermore, they are potentially at risk of developing similar feelings themselves. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize the impact of those peer-to-peer conversations.
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Tips For Parents And Caregivers Of Children With Depression
Watching a child deal with depression can be distressing for parents. The good news is adults dont need to feel powerless. If you are a parent who is concerned about your child or one of their friends, here are some tips about how to support them. This guide on common sayings to avoid, and what to say instead, can help as well.
Symptoms Of Depression In Older People
Almost 5 percent of Americans over the age of 50 experience at least one major depressive episode per year, similar to the rate among younger Americans. But these signs may be different in older adults than in young people. For some older adults, the symptoms of depression may be subtler than just feelings of sadness. Even health care providers can miss symptoms of depression in their older patients, as shown by the small number of referrals from primary care providers to geriatric care and mental health care providers.
This list, adapted from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Aging, identifies some of the warning signs associated with depression among older individuals:
- Noticeable changes in mood feeling distant from others, flat, empty or anxious
- Changes in energy level feeling tired all the time but having trouble sleeping, or sleeping too much
- Difficulty carrying out daily activities for weeks at a time
- Trouble concentrating feeling restless or on edge
- Irritability, anger or lashing out at others
- Increased worry or stress or obsessing about minor problems or events
- Heavy use of alcohol or drugs
- Loss of interest in once pleasurable hobbies and acitivites, including sex
- Sadness, hopelessness, crying, or having suicidal thoughts
If your aging parent doesnt have internet access, they can ask their primary care doctor to do a screening at their next visit.
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Sharing Information About Depression
If you simply want to share information about depression in general or about mental health, this is an admirable thing to do. In the past, mental health has involved stigma, lack of information, and has been a hard thing for families to talk about. Between 2007 and 2018, the youth suicide rate increased by 60%, making mental health discussions a top priority for families.
As a parent, its important to break down these barriers with your children at an early age since depression is an issue that could eventually affect someone in the family. This may be especially relevant if you have blood relatives who have been diagnosed with depression.
While it may feel hard to talk about, if you wait until your child grows older, the conversations will be harder to start. If you begin now talking about depression or other mental health issues as you would talk about a physical illness such as cancer or diabetes, then your child will be more likely to come to you if they are having problems. In this way, you open the door for conversation when you start young.
Again, youll want to consider the age of your child before doing so. Below are some tips on how to handle this conversation at any age.
How To Tell Your Family About Your Depression
This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 4,716 times.
Do you feel sad, tired, or hopeless? Are you more withdrawn, emotional, and irritable than before? You might have depression. Depression isnt just the blues but a serious illness, and it can affect your life.XResearch source Telling your parents and family is a first but hard step to getting proper help. Remember, though, that your loved ones want whats best for you. Start the conversation and find a moment to talk, asking for their help and understanding.
Whats The Difference Between Natural Adolescent Behavior And Depression
Symptoms of depression may not be obvious, such as a teen exhibiting sadness. It is common for teens to be overwhelmed easily during all of their developmental changes, or to appear irritated and withdrawn from family because theyd rather be with their friends.
Its important for parents, caregivers, and educators to be able to spot the difference between natural teen behavior and depressive behavior.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders , clinically diagnosed depression may be called Major Depressive Disorder or Other Specified Depressive Disorder. The DSM-5 states that common symptoms of depression may include irritable mood, lack of motivation, inability to concentrate, fatigue, physical symptoms like stomach aches and headaches, social withdrawal, sadness, and behavioral issues such as non-compliance and or defiance.
If your teen is not usually this way, and if there is a pattern of these symptoms popping up for more than two weeks, it may be a red flag that your teen may be experiencing a depressive episode.
What Is The Therapy For Child Depression
The therapy for child depression is cognitive behavioral therapy . Therapists help kids feel welcome and supported. They have kids talk about what they think and feel. They may use stories, play, lessons, or workbooks. These tools can help children feel at ease and get the most from CBT. When possible, a child’s therapy includes their parent.
If a child has gone through a loss, trauma, or other difficult events, the therapy will include things that help a child heal from that, too. And if a parent is dealing with their own loss or depression, the child’s therapist can help them get the care and support they need.
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Its Easy To Dismiss Anxiety And Depression But You Shouldnt
If you or a loved one has been struggling with depression and anxiety for a while, it can be easy to begin to dismiss it, even unintentionally. For a loved one, it is difficult to time and time again be supportive. Reactions start emerging: you may feel like the depressed or anxious person is overreacting,being lazy,too sensitive,should just let it go,is looking for attention,being a failure etc.
However, these dismissive thoughts or negative stereotypes often keep those suffering with them from talking about their experiences. It is hard for many to share how they feel, let alone share when it runs the risk of them being seen differently or being abandoned.
Dismissing what someone is struggling with only adds to that persons feelings of isolation, which can feed depression and anxiety.
Tips For Kids And Teens With Depression
Depression can be overwhelming and can make you feel hopeless, but it is important to remember it is treatable. Ask a parent or trusted adult for support. The following tips can also help you cope.
If you are in immediate crisis or feel like hurting yourself or others, call 7CRISIS or 273-TALK, or text HOME to 741741. You can also call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency department. Dont wait to get help.
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If Talking To Parents Doesnt Work
Even if the relationship between you and your parents is strong, there are chances that they might not react as expected to the news of you having depression. Remember to stay calm and let them experience the emotions they are feeling.
They are probably confused and feel clueless about what is going on. Do not panic and give them time to digest the news. Share with them your journey of understanding that you have depression. You can say, I understand that this is all new for you and that you need time to process it. It took time for me too, so I understand.
This will help take off the pressure to respond immediately to the news of you having depression. Even after that if they do not understand and dismiss the notion of you having depression, you can seek the help of people outside your family to convince them you need help.
Prevention Of Anxiety And Depression
It is not known exactly why some children develop anxiety or depression. Many factors may play a role, including biology and temperament. But it is also known that some children are more likely to develop anxiety or depression when they experience trauma or stress, when they are maltreated, when they are bullied or rejected by other children, or when their own parents have anxiety or depression.
Although these factors appear to increase the risk for anxiety or depression, there are ways to decrease the chance that children experience them. Learn about public health approaches to prevent these risks:
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How To Tell Your Parents You Are Depressed
You can use the below tips to plan and practice how to tell your parents you are depressed:
- Preparing yourself mentally
- Convincing them to find a therapist for you
- Letting them how they can help you during the process
Rather than seeing the whole process as one, lets discuss more on these smaller steps that seem achievable and less daunting.
As one of the biggest hurdles we face during depression is telling parents and friends about what we are experiencing. The thought of how our parents will react to the fact that we have depression keeps swirling around in our minds. And that swirling storm wont calm down unless we tell our parents about it. It can be tough and seem scary, but it is a crucial step in getting better. Remember you are not alone in this fight against depression.
Whatever You Do Reader Please Dont Give Up
You deserve help. You deserve support. And you deserve to feel better.
While I wish parents did a better job of getting this right the first time around, it may take some extra effort on your part to get the help that you need.
Please know, though, that the effort is worth it. Your life is worth it.
Take it from an adult whos been there: It can get better, and it will get better with the right support. Good luck!
Sam Dylan Finch is a writer, positive psychology practitioner, and media strategist in Portland, Oregon. Hes the lead editor of mental health and chronic conditions at Healthline, and co-founder of Queer Resilience Collective, a wellness coaching cooperative for LGBTQ+ people. You can say hello on , , , or learn more at SamDylanFinch.com.
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Even Though Anxiety And Depression Are Used To Describe Emotions That Everyone Has It Is Not An Emotion But A Disorder For Some
Anxiety and depression are emotions that everyone feels at time in response to stressors. At this occasional frequency, they are a normal, healthy part of life where you can expect the emotions to subside once the stressor has passed. However, for those with anxiety and depression, these emotions dont subside. They dont just disappear once the stressor has passed. Instead, they are persistent and build upon each other as more stressors are encountered throughout the day.
Talk To Your Family Doctor
If you have a checkup scheduled, you can always ask to be screened for depression or anxiety when you see your doctor. If you dont have an appointment, you can ask your parents to schedule one, explaining that youd like to be screened just in case.
Often times, parents will trust a doctor youve been seeing regularly more than they trust therapists or psychiatrists, and this can be a bridge to getting the care you need.
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Risk Factors For Depression
Depression can affect anyoneeven a person who appears to live in relatively ideal circumstances.
Several factors can play a role in depression:
- Biochemistry: Differences in certain chemicals in the brain may contribute to symptoms of depression.
- Genetics: Depression can run in families. For example, if one identical twin has depression, the other has a 70 percent chance of having the illness sometime in life.
- Personality: People with low self-esteem, who are easily overwhelmed by stress, or who are generally pessimistic appear to be more likely to experience depression.
- Environmental factors: Continuous exposure to violence, neglect, abuse or poverty may make some people more vulnerable to depression.
Coming Up With A Plan
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