As your teenager begins to transition into young adulthood, you might be unsure of what to expect. Your child may suddenly feel as though they no longer fit in with their peers and are left wondering who they are and where they belong. These feelings may surface when your teen is confronted with a stressful event or changing environment, such as moving to a new town or going through a breakup. Unfortunately, adolescence is not the easiest time for most teens and their parents may often wonder if it will get any easier. Some days can seem like even darker days than others while other times they may seem to have an endless supply of sunshine. If it’s not causing them undue stress, it’s normal for your teen to experience these urges and phases more frequently during this time of life.
One in seven Indians between 15-24 years of age feels depressed, lacks interest in doing things, shows UNICEF report. There are times when you may notice changes in your child’s behavior, mood, or enjoyment of favorite activities. You may be worried about them and unsure how to help. Some of these changes may be related to usual developmental stages. Still, if these changes remain for a few weeks and interfere with their everyday functioning, it is important to seek help. Here are a few things you can do as a parent to support your teenage child during a major change or meltdown or a depressive episode.
Be there for your teen and help them find a support network
It’s important for you to show support for your teen during this time. Your presence can help them feel validated, loved, and supported. It’s also important to have open communication with your child. Don’t try to fix the problem or make it go away, this is where open communication comes in. Ask your teenager about their feelings and help them to understand what they are going through. This can be as simple as asking “how are you feeling”, or “what are you feeling”. What you are trying to accomplish is to allow your teen to verbalize their feelings and get them unstuck. Finding a support network can help to reduce your teen’s feelings of isolation and loneliness. This can be someone in your immediate family, a friend, a teacher, or a counsellor. Having a support network can be very beneficial if your teen experiences a depressive episode. It can help to reduce the risk of suicide, improve your relationship, and normalize feelings.
Help your teen identify the problem
It’s important to be mindful of the way your teen is feeling. It’s also important to work to identify the root of the problem. When your teen is struggling with depression, it’s common for them to feel like they don’t fit in, have low self-esteem, and have difficulty focusing. When your teen is ready to talk about the problem, it can be helpful to identify the root of the issue. It can help to have these conversations with your teen at a time when they are feeling more open, optimistic, and understanding. It can also be helpful to have these conversations as a family. It can help to have everyone in the room when you talk about these sensitive topics. It can help to have someone to talk to when you need to vent or need someone to bounce ideas off. It can be beneficial to have a family meeting where you can air out these issues. This can help to reduce the amount of awkward silence that can come with these conversations.
Recognize warning signs of a depressive episode
It’s important to be observant and to be on the lookout for signs that your teen might be struggling with depression. You can recognize certain warning signs by paying attention to your teen and how they are feeling. It can be helpful to ask questions such as “how are you feeling”, or “what are you feeling”. Doing so can help to normalize the conversation, and it can also help to centre the conversation. It can also help to have regular check-ins with your teen. It can also be helpful to have open conversations about mental health and to have honest conversations about what your teen is going through. It can be helpful to have non-judgmental, open conversations with your teen. This can help to normalize the conversation, and it can help to get your teen unstuck.
Offer to participate in activities that can help your teen feel better
When a depressed teen is feeling low, it can be helpful to engage them in activities that help to lift their mood. This can be something as simple as trying to incorporate more sunshine into their life by trying to be more cheerful in your daily activities, such as taking a walk or doing some gardening. It can be helpful to talk to your teen about how they are feeling and to find ways to help them to release some of the negative feelings that can be holding them back. It can be helpful to talk to your teen about their feelings and to help them vent. Venting can be helpful in a way that can help to release some of the negative feelings that your teen is feeling. It can be helpful to have these conversations about mental health in a non-judgmental way and to help your teen to have these conversations with you.
Walk alongside your teen during their recovery process
During your teen’s recovery process, it can be helpful for you to be there for them. This can be as simple as making sure that they have good food in the fridge and a neat place to sleep when they are home. It can also be helpful to make sure that they have their medications. It can also help to make sure that they have a way to talk to someone when they need to. When your teen is ready to talk, it can be helpful to offer to listen. It can be helpful to have non-judgmental conversations and to talk about things that are going on in your teen’s life. It can be helpful to have regular check-ins with your teen.
When you’re feeling down, you might want to talk to someone about it, but who do you turn to? A lot of the time, the person you want to talk to the most is yourself. Be careful not to bottle things up and don’t be afraid to seek help if you feel like something is not right. Depression is a serious illness that can be treated, and it could be a sign of a bigger problem. If you think your teen is suffering from depression, be there for them and help them to identify the problem and to find a support network. It’s also important to recognize warning signs and to help your teen identify the root of the problem. It can be helpful to have these conversations as a family, or with someone who your teen trusts and feels comfortable talking to. When your teen is ready to talk, offer to listen and walk alongside them during their recovery process.
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