Let’s face it, teenagers get moody and depressed. It’s a part of their biological makeup. As hormones are racing through their bodies, their emotions jump on that same rollercoaster.
The parents who come into my office are often looking for answers so I’ve decided to write this blogpost for all the parents out there who are worried about their depressed teenager.
Below I’ve outlined ten things you can do when you suspect your teen is depressed:
1. Talk to them about it
It’s important to talk to your teenager about their depression and how they feel. They may not open up to you about it but it’s key to let them know you are there for them to talk about whatever is going on in their lives, not just their depression.
2. Empathize with them
If you’ve never experienced depression for yourself, it might be hard for you to put yourself in your teen’s shoes. You may look at them and think how lucky they are to have opportunities you never had.
Depression is not about whether they have the latest shoes or the privileges they are afforded in life. Depression is related to how they see themselves and the world. Work on understanding your teen’s feelings and it will help you to better understand them.
3. Don’t try to fix their problems
One common route that parents often take is to try to fix whatever issues and problems their child is experiencing. Your teen is at a pivotal stage in their life and they need to learn the necessary skills for problem-solving. One way they can learn that is solving some of the problems leading to their depression.
4. Give them resources to use
There are some really great resources out there specifically for teenagers and depression. One of my favourite workbooks to use with teens and depression is called Beyond the Blues: A Workbook to Help Teens Overcome Depression (Teen Instant Help).
Ask them if they want to attend a self-help group for teens. Encourage them to use any resources their school might have to offer.