The teen years might seem like an independent and healthy period, but those years are overwhelming and difficult for teens than we can realize. It is estimated that throughout the world, every one in five adolescents suffer from depression in their teen years. The good news is that depression is treatable but the sad part is that most of us don’t even get to know when our teens are feeling depressed.
Teen depression is much more than just mood swings. It is a mental health issue that causes persistent sadness and sudden loss of interest in things around them. It affects their way of thinking, behaving, feeling, and can cause serious physical, functional, and emotional issues. Parents’ growing interest in the mental health of their teens has made them wonder about all the aspects of their lives such as their schooling, outdoor activities, peer pressure, and most of all, their internet activities. That’s why many parents have opted for the use of parental control software to keep an eye on the kids before things get worse.
Teen depression is not something that will get better over time. It is a serious issue, and if not treated at the right time, it can cause long-term effects. However, if you could know the risk factors, causes, and the changes pretty soon, you can help your teen overcome it in no time.
How to Know If My Teen Is Depressed?
Teen years are difficult to predict because you already expect them to have mood changes and act out. But, depression is something different; it is much more than just melancholic mood. It can destroy your teen’s personality thus causing them to continues sadness, anger, despair. If you looking for the behaviors that might indicate teen depression, here they are:
- School issues: Depression lowers down the energy levels and makes it difficult for the kids to concentrate. So, you might be hearing a lot of complaints from school such as low grades and frustration.
- Substance Abuse: When they don’t know what to do with their situation, they end up ‘self-medicating’ themselves. In that case, they might be taking the drugs they are not supposed to.
- Internet Addiction: Internet is platform kids often use to escape from their reality. Look for these signs as well. They might be stuck with their smartphones and getting used to it. This internet addiction is another indicator of depression.
- Violence: Depressed teens who have been the victims of violence and bullying can show the sign of aggression and frustration.
- Low Self-esteem: Depression comes with a lack of confidence and low self-esteem. So, your kid is suddenly feeling that he/she doesn’t deserve anything, it might be a sign.
Teen depression is associated with many other issues like self-injury and eating disorders. Teen depression is not an everyday thing for teens, instead, it can cause them tremendous pain.
Causes of Teen Depression:
Teen depression can be caused by several reasons. It might be a traumatic event, series of events, or a game loss. However, the following are the most common causes of teen depression:
· Brain Chemistry
Neurotransmitters are the chemicals in the brain that carry messages from one part to another. If there is any abnormality and impairment in the working of neurotransmitters, it can lead to mood changes and depression.
When blood relatives such as parents and grand-parents have depression, kids are most likely to develop the same issue.
· Hormonal Changes
Teens are already going through the hormonal changes in their body. When these changes are associated with anything wrong happening in their life, it can lead to depression.
· Early Childhood Trauma
When kids face traumatic events during childhood such as emotional or physical abuse, it can cause changes in their personalities making them more prone to depression.
These are some of the causes of depression to look for when you are doubtful about the health of your teen. Being a parent, you must look out for your child and look for the minor changes that might indicate worse condition.
Dealing with Teen Depression
Depression is worst especially when it is left untreated. You can hope for the symptoms to go away and vanish over time, but that is not the case at all. You ought to treat them the right way to ensure a good future of your kid. Here is how you can help you kid deal with teen depression:
· Listen, Don’t Lecture
Once you are talking to your teenager, resist the urge to lecture on every small thing. They want to listen, and if you can’t do that, they might find someone else for it. Just let them know that you are there for them unconditionally.
· Be Persistent
They are depressed, you ought to understand this. They might shut you out at first but they want you to understand them anyway. Give them the space they require and don’t force them to open up when they don’t want to. Just be there for them, make sure they know that you haven’t given up. This is what they need the most right now.
· Using Parental Control App
Using parental control app is a new step towards smart parenting. You know very well how the internet and social media are ruining the personalities of the teens. With the glamour of social media comes a lot of stress. They won’t know it unless it happens to them. But, you can know it beforehand by monitoring their use of the internet and social media through the parental control app. This can give you heads up towards what and where it went wrong for them.
· Trust Your Gut
Your teen might be embarrassed or just don’t want to express their depression. They might want you to believe that nothing is wrong, and they are fine. You must trust your instincts on this. If they are not opening up and you think there is something still wrong, move towards third-parties such as a school counselor, mental health professional, etc.
Teen depression is a serious issue and it must not be ignored. It can seriously affect the mental health of your teen thus causing them to have difficulties for the rest of their lives. You must do something about it before it’s too late.