5. Monitor their symptoms
There are specific symptoms you can monitor in your teen and they include sleep patterns, eating patterns, feelings of guilt, loss of interest in things they were normally interested in, energy levels, difficulty concentrating, feelings of irritation/agitation, self-reported feelings of depression and suicidal ideation/attempts.
If your teen has thoughts of suicide or has attempted, it is imperative you seek the help of a mental health professional or contact 911.
6. Have them get a physical from their doctor
One of my main recommendations for anyone coming in with depressive feelings is to get a physical by your doctor. It is important to rule-out any physical causes for depression, such as low Vitamin D. A complete physical with blood work is a good place to start.
7. Honor their requests but watch for warning signs
When people feel depressed, it is common for teens to want to lay in bed and isolate. It is important to honour your teen’s request to take it easy; however, if you have noticed your teen’s symptoms have worsened over the week, it might be a good idea to get them to go out to dinner with your family. As for school, it is important your teenager attend school on a regular basis even if they feel too depressed to attend.
8. Educate yourself
You are starting the education process by reading this post. Keep reading other blog posts and articles about depression and teenagers. The more information you have about it the better.
Read a book about depression for yourself. I strongly recommend beginning with The Feeling Good Handbook by Dr. David Burns.
9. Love them no matter what
It’s a guarantee that your teen does not want to feel depressed. They are probably not doing it for attention. They just need to know you love them and that you are there for them. Keep the lines of communication open and love them just the way they are, depressed or not.
10. Have them meet with a therapist that specializes in teens and depression
Enlisting the help of a mental health professional will provide you and your family with the support you may need. The therapist can meet individually with your teenager, while also meeting with your family for the purposes of helping everyone to understand depression and how to best help.
Look into finding a therapist that works specifically with teens and depression. Look at their website, recent blogposts and other information you can find about them to see if they will be a good fit.
If you suspect your teenager is depressed, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment with someone, such as a local therapist, who can provide you with accurate information. You also have the choice to jump on the rollercoaster with them but that’s never fun.