Causes Of Teen Depression
Biological factors, such as genes, can increase a teens risk of developing depression. However, environmental and social conditions also have a role to play. The following factors may trigger or exacerbate symptoms of depression in your teen:
Bullying.Being bullied by peers can add stress to a teens life and affect their self-esteem. This can, in turn, trigger feelings of intense helplessness and hopelessness.
Other mental and physical health conditions. Teen depression is associated with a number of other mental health problems, including eating disorders, self-injury, anxiety, ADHD, or a learning disorder. The struggles that accompany these conditions may lead a teen to feel unconfident and frustrated when it comes to academics and socializing. Similarly, physical disabilities or chronic illness can also play a role.
Past and present stressful experiences. Past trauma from violent or abusive situations can put teens at risk of depression as well as post-traumatic stress disorder . Recent events, such as the loss of a loved one, can also trigger a depressed mood.
Lack of social support. Teens who feel unsupported by family or peers are at risk of depression. For example, a teen may be struggling with their sexual identity in a hostile or unaccepting environment.
Depression and social media use
Helping Children Understand And Cope With Parental Depression
About 13% of adults of reproductive age experience clinical depression each year. We’re not just talking about having a few down days or the postpartum “baby blues.” We’re talking about a serious diagnosable clinical depression. The rates are even higher for parents who are the primary caretaker, have children under 3, are low income or minorities, are an adolescent parent, or have more than one child .
When a parent experiences clinical depression, his/her children are affected. The younger the child is when the parent becomes depressed, the greater the impact can be on the child . Studies show that children of depressed parents run a higher risk not only of developing depression themselves, but also a higher risk of problems with bonding, anxiety, physical health , academic performance, problems with peers, poor self-esteem, attention deficits, aggressive behavior, and language delays .
While it isn’t possible to “immunize” a child from being affected by a parent’s depression, there are lots of things that parents can do to help their child understand and cope. Children usually do well if the depressed parents are able to be supportive in spite of their depression, or if the child can receive support from another parent or caring adult. Being honest with the child, listening, and explaining depression and its symptoms in age-appropriate language are ways to communicate this important support.
Here are some messages children need to hear:
Depressed Parents And The Effects On Their Children
Schools are reporting more and more children entering who seem to be unable to meet the basic demands of sitting, paying attention, and controlling themselves. More and more children are placed in special ed programs. The number of children on Ritalin is rising at an alarming rate.
No one knows why this is occurring. Some blame Nintendo, some blame divorce, some blame two-career families.
At the same time, the incidence of clinical depression among adults including parents is almost epidemic, and continues to rise. Today almost twenty percent of the population meet the criteria for some form of depression and that does not mean people who are temporarily feeling the blues and will be better next week, but people who are having real difficulty functioning in life. Count every fifth person you see on the street thats how many people in your community who may be suffering from depression. I think we need to understand the connection between adult depression and childrens behavior.
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Dr Tim And Mrs Noreen Muehlhoff
Dr. Tim Muehlhoff is a professor of communication at Biola University in La Mirada, California where he teaches classes in family communication, interpersonal communication, apologetics, gender, and conflict resolution. Tim and his wife, Noreen, are both on staff with Biolas Center for Marriage and Relationships where he is a co-host of The Art of Relationship podcast.
How To Parent A Depressed Teenager
The teenage years are filled with phenomenal changes, physically, emotionally and socially. It is a period where family relationships must adjust to new dynamics. The sweet, easy-going child you used to know is still there, but now also moody, confused, defiant, and prone to reckless behaviour and excessive sleep. Teenagers want to spread their wings and develop their own styles, identities and personalities. They crave independence from their parents. But for over a year now, the pandemic has injected restrictions that go against the grain of adolescent lifestyles and behaviour. Their daily routine has been upended, social life stunted, and your teenager is now locked up in close quarters with parents and siblings! For some households, all of this has created the perfect storm, triggering an increase in mental health problems. Parents cant decipher whether their teen is depressed or simply transitioning naturally through adolescence.
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What To Do When You’re Not Okay
Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.
How To Lovingly Parent A Depressed Teenager
Being a parent is the hardest job on the planet, particularly when you have a teenager. But being a parent of a child or teen with a mental illness can feel unbearable at times.
Your friends are all rolling their eyes as they talk about the latest antic their teenager pulled. But sometimes it feels like what youre going through is even harder. You want to help your teen, but its exhausting!
All parents want to do whats right for their kids, but when your child is sick, either physically or mentally, the desire to get it right becomes even more intense.
If you are the parent of a child or teen with depression, know theres isnt one right way to parent them. Theres no magic wand that will help them feel better. Having said that, here are some ways you can support and show you love your child on their way back toward the light.
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Managing The Challenges Of Parenting With A Mental Illness
Whenever you can, talking to and staying connected with your child will help them feel secure and loved. This can be as simple as a cuddle on the couch, a loving note in their lunchbox, or a family ritual like a secret handshake or nickname. Try to put aside time just for you and your child as often as you can.
Depending on your childs age, it might also help to talk with your child about your illness. This might help your child to understand when youre not well, know that the situation isnt their fault and cope better. It can be scary and difficult to talk about these issues, so you might like to ask your GP or psychologist for some guidance on how to start.
Its OK to accept help when family and friends offer. When youre not well, you can let people know that your family needs extra support and suggest what they can do to help for example, cooking a meal, giving your child a lift to extracurricular activities, or spending time with your child so you can have a break. People often appreciate being asked for something specific.
And if you look after yourself as best you can, youll be better able to care for your child and respond to them in warm and loving ways. This includes healthy eating, regular exercise, trying to rest and spending time doing things you enjoy.
Looking after yourself also means caring for your emotional wellbeing by sharing how you feel with friends or family.
Certain Types Of Depression Are Unique To Women
While depression affects individuals regardless of their race, sex, age, and/or socioeconomic background, certain types of depression are unique to women. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, for example, is a severe type of premenstrual syndrome that affects women in the weeks before menstruation.
Perinatal depression is a type of depression that strikes during pregnancy and after childbirth, and perimenopausal depression can cause a woman to experience irritability, anxiety, sadness, and/or loss of enjoyment at the time of their menopause transition.
Recommended Reading: 10 Ways To Cope With Depression
How Can Talking To A Parent Help
It can feel like a big relief to have someone listen, hear you out, and show they care. Talking together can help you feel more hopeful. It lets you know you’re not alone. Someone believes in you and has your back.
Sometimes, a parent can help you see another angle to a problem you’re dealing with. They can give good advice. When you feel their support, it’s easier to think of ways to help yourself, too.
Why Might Your Elderly Parent Become Depressed
Several factors contribute to depression in the elderly. Some of these include:
Genetic risk factors Individuals with a family history of depression are more likely to suffer from depression themselves.
Role change or loss Traditionally, men and women play different roles in the family. In the elderly, role reversal and loss of this role can significantly impact their mental health.
Grief In addition to grieving and realizing their mortality, many older adults feel lonely due to losses.
Relationship difficulties The elderly may often worry about their own family, such as the well-being of their children.
Health conditions Medical conditions can directly contribute to depression.
Effects Of A Depressed Parent On A Child
Despite depressed parents instinct to protect their children from their suffering, children do notice. They may wonder why their father is suddenly distant or why their mom lets them fend for themselves for days at a time.
Children tend to internalize these effects and may blame themselves when they feel neglected. And a depressed mothers effect on her children may not manifest in only one way. It can have effects both right away and long into the future.
A depressed parents potential inability to fulfill all their responsibilities as a mother or father can cause various short-term effects. Children may lag behind their peers because they dont make it to school every day, or because their parent doesnt take part in educationally enriching activities with them at home.
They may lack guidance and support. Children who feel neglected tend to act out to get attention, and they may get in more trouble and become labeled a problem because of what they feel is missing at home.
While it might seem that growing up with a depressed parent would only cause issues while a person is a child and dependent on that parent, research has shown this isnt the case.
- Just under one in six people surveyed said that they had at least one ACE over the course of their childhood.
- An estimated 21 million cases of adult depression are caused by ACEs.
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.
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Common Signs Of Depression
- Their mood may be off they may seem more weepy or irritable than before.
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Thoughts of death or suicide
If you notice any of these signs or symptoms in your aging parent, it s important to talk to them about it. Depression is a serious condition, but its also treatable. There are many options available, including therapy, medication, and support groups.
From 1980 to 1992, the suicide rate among persons age 65 and older increased nine percent, and most striking was a 35 percent rise in rates of suicide for men and women age 80 to 84. The suicide rate among males 85 years and older is six times the rate of the general population.
Its clear to see that this age group is in need of intervention when it comes to depression.
Dont hesitate to reach out for help if youre worried about your aging parents mental health. You can contact the National Institute on Agings Eldercare Locator to find resources in your area.
You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at if you or your parent are in crisis.
The Spiritual Battle For Your Marriage
God designed marriage to reflect His love to the world and because of this, the enemy wants to destroy Gods beautiful design. Based on his book, Defending Your Marriage, Dr. Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff share about the reality of spiritual warfare against marriages, and how to combat the enemys lies with the truth of God. Couples will be encouraged that theyre not alone in the fight for a godly marriage and better equipped to be a shining example for the world around them.
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How Do I Talk To My Child About My Mental Health Condition
How you talk to your child about your mental health condition will depend on the age and maturity of your child and your willingness to open up to him or her.
In general, children, especially as they grow older, are very astute and knowledgeable about their surroundings. They can sense emotional changes and can often tell if something is hidden from them without their knowledge. Some children may be able to fully understand what it means to have a mental health condition. In talking with children you can help them to know how to cope when you are not feeling well. And, a child may be able to support you in your recovery by reminding you when to take your medications or help you stay on track.
Your decision to talk to your child about your condition should also take into account your readiness. Parents often want to appear invincible and strong to their children, as they think it is the parents’ role to care for a sick child and not the other way around. The decisions you make should be made with both parent and child in mind.
Before proceeding, you should always talk to your doctor or therapist about the best ways to bring this information up. You may want to consider the possibility of inviting a child to a session to explore this information.
Parenting A Child With Depression
Parenting a depressed child can be very difficult. Here are suggestions for helping your child with depression.
Parenting is already a tough job. Parenting a child with depression is even tougher. Keep in mind that depression is a medical condition. Your child is not acting this way on purpose.
Here’s what you can do to help your child with depression:
Honor your child’s feelings. It is difficult to see your child sad and in pain. Your first response might be to try to cheer him or her up. Don’t. Trying to make depressed children and teens happy makes them feel like depression can be willed away. It is more helpful to listen. Acknowledge their feelings, and take them seriously.
Use encouraging statements rather than punishment. Instead of yelling, “Turn that television off! You haven’t done your homework yet!” say “When you finish your homework, you can watch television.”
If your child constantly forgets to take his or her lunch money to school, don’t say, “You are so forgetful! You can’t remember a simple thing like your lunch money!” Instead, say something that focuses on the behavior, not your child, like “I know it has been hard for you to remember your lunch money. What can we do to make sure it gets put in your book bag every morning?”
Focus on consequences rather than punishment. For example, if your child breaks a lamp during a temper tantrum, use a logical consequence rather than issuing an unrelated punishment .
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Am I Ever Going To Feel Better
If your child is facing depression now, its easy for them to start feeling hopeless, like theres no light at the end of the tunnel. If they ask you this question, you can reassure them that there are lots of treatments that can help them feel better.
This would be a good moment to introduce the topic of going to therapy. You can explain what a mental health therapist does theyre understanding, trustworthy grown-ups who talk with and play with kids.
Lots of kids see therapists and start experiencing less depression. Therapists can teach you tricks and tools you can use to make yourself feel better, even when youre feeling really down.
Try to empower your child and communicate your belief in them. For example, you could say something like, I know its so hard right now, but I know that youre going to get through this. And Im going to be with you every step of the way.