Teenagers are known for being moody and rebellious but what about as being prone to depression? Being moody and rebelling against your parents as a teen is normal behavior. This type of thing is generally what’s expected once kids reach their thirteenth birthday. However, as well as these typical teen behaviours, parents should also be on the lookout for signs of depression.
Most of us think that depression is something that only affects adults, but that’s not actually the case. On average, one in every 20 teenagers will suffer from depression. The question is, how do you tell if your teen is depressed and how can you help them through it? For everything that you need to know, keep reading.
Depression goes beyond moodiness
Teenagers are known for being moody, but depression is much more severe than that. When their teens are moody and sleep a lot, many parents worry that they are depressed. However, that’s not the case - hormones cause the moodiness and tiredness. Depression is completely different to normal teen behavior.
A major sign that your teen could be depressed is that their personality changes. You may notice changes in their sleep pattern - if a teen who didn’t sleep a lot before starts constantly sleeping this is a warning sign. Other signs of depression include a change in appetite, problems with school grades and social issues. If you notice that your child seems down, and it lasts for longer than two weeks, it’s time to get help.
There are lots of treatment options
The good news is that when it comes to teenage depression, there are a lot of treatment options. With the right treatment and guidance, within four to six weeks, you should start to see your teenager returning to themselves again. So as long as the right treatment option is chosen, treatment can work incredibly quickly.
The most common form of treatment is therapy, and sometimes medication as well. While talking things out can help, for some teenagers, a different approach is needed. A popular method is wilderness therapy, like the Wilderness Therapy Trek Program. There's something about spending time in nature that can help some depression suffers recover more quickly. So this is definitely a treatment option that's worth considering. When it comes to depression, there isn’t a one size fits all treatment, and it’s important to realize that.
Be there for your child
As a parent, seeing your child struggling with depression is awful. Seeing them fall into themselves and be unable to do anything about it is incredibly difficult. You might not be able to make everything better but what you can do is be there for them no matter what. All you need to do is be there to help them through their depression one step at a time.
If they want to talk, make sure that you’re there to listen. On days when they don’t feel like getting out of bed, make getting up worthwhile. Go for lunch, treat them to a little gift, have fun together. You may not be able to make them better, but you can show them that you’ll always be there for them.
There you have it, how to tell if your teenager has depression and how to help them.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.