Having a child with any kind of mental health disorder often causes parents to feel hopeless and alone. You may have a sincere desire to help your child work through the depressed state but lack the tools you need to communicate. After all, few of us are equipped to handle mental disorders. Even the best parents may be at a loss about how to help a depressed teen.
However, even if you don’t know how to help a teen with depression, you are still in a great position to get professional care for your child. Below is a quick guide on how you can start to reach out to your child. If you have any further questions, then speak with a depression treatment professional.
Knowing the Signs and How to Help a Teen with Depression
The signs of teen depression are not always evident. As such, it can be difficult to know when your teen is depressed. Some common symptoms of severe depression include:
- Anger or feeling irritable all the time
- Withdrawal from friends, family, or normal activities
- Disruption in sleep patterns – too much or not enough
- Poor or suddenly declining performance in school
- An addiction to drugs or alcohol
- Constant feelings of gloom, sadness, or moodiness
Remember, occasional depression is not a sign of a disorder. In fact, it’s a normal part of being a teen. What you should look for is chronic depression or a disorder that is slowly progressing. Then you can decide whether you think a residential mental health and addiction program might help your teen get on a different track.
Try to avoid having a codependent relationship with your teen. Codependency involves an unhealthy attachment between two people when that attachment prohibits growth and independence. These kinds of relationships develop due to a lack of boundaries, unhealed trauma, guilt, and the inability to say no. Any relationship dynamic can experience codependency, especially when one of the people involved has the following traits:
- Low self-esteem
- Inability to express true emotions
- Difficulty communicating honestly
- Need to feel liked and accepted
Connecting with Your Teenager
There comes the point in a teen’s life when they don’t want to talk to you about anything. They feel uncomfortable sharing their personal life or feelings. This wall can be difficult to tear down. So, if you are going to approach your teenager about depression, you need to have a strategy.
First, make sure that your teenager feels supported and loved – not judged. Second, do more listening and less preaching. You don’t have to be the one to solve your child’s problems. You just need to help your teenager become more aware of them. Lastly, discuss options for how to help your teenager. If possible, try to involve them in the decision and process. Work it out together.
Treatment for Teen Depression
If you are at a loss for ways to help a teen with depression, you can seek assistance from an adolescent depression treatment center in California. A treatment specialist can meet with your child and develop a treatment plan that meets their needs.
If they have an addiction to alcohol or drugs, then a therapist can guide them through recovery to avoid a relapse. Treatment centers provide evidence-based and holistic therapy options to treat a wide range of mental disorders and addictions.
Destinations for Teens is Here to Help Your Teen
If you need more information on helping a teen with depression, then contact Destinations for Teens. We provide full care for people with ADHD, depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and addiction. Call us today at 877.466.0620 for a consultation with a treatment specialist.