Teenagers are often misunderstood. Parents often ignore teenage psychological problems. This is perhaps one of the major reasons, why teen or adolescent depression is not diagnosed. If left untreated, teen depression leads to antisocial behavior and even suicide.
Know the symptoms
First, you should know the difference between occasional bad moods and depression. Common symptoms of adolescent depression are sadness, hopelessness, anger, irritation, hostility, restlessness and withdrawal. Your teenaged son or daughter may frequently cry. There will be changes in eating pattern. She/he might overeat or starve. The sleeping pattern would also change, leading to insomnia or oversleeping. Sense of worthlessness would overwhelm your child. She/he will lack motivation, energy and might talk about death and suicide. If these symptoms continue for a prolonged period, it is possible that your child is suffering from depression.
Treating teen depression
It might be difficult for parents to help a teenaged child come out of depression. It is safe to seek professional help. However, parents should support their children to overcome this psychological disorder. When a teenager is depressed, he/she becomes extremely vulnerable. You should assure your child that you are always there to provide unconditional support. Also, remember to maintain peace at home. Often parents start blaming each other about their child’s mental health. Parental discord is harmful for the child. Be gentle with your child. Allow your child to speak. Listen to him/her with patience. This is not the time to criticize your child. Encourage your child to express his/her suppressed emotions.
Early screening to prevent depression
According to researchers, teen depression could be prevented by screening children for signs of depression at an early age. Researchers of University of Washington have suggested that depression screening could start from the second grade. According to them children who feel lonely and sad might become depressed teens. The early symptoms of depression in boys and girls differ considerably. Among girls, anxiety could lead to depression. Behavioral problems and attention deficit increases risk of depression among boys.
Are you suffering from depression? If you don’t want your child to be a victim of depression, cure your own depression. Often teenagers with a depressed parent show signs of depression.