Adolescence is a busy time when a number of psychological disorders, such as depression, can develop.
In this situation, parents suffer from not being able to help their children as much as they would like. For this we will see here a series of tips on how to help a teenager with depression which will help families cope with this psychological phenomenon.
Tips for helping a teenager with depression
Many parents wonder how to help a teenager with depression, but the first thing to do is to delve into the very definition of this condition and its implications.
Depression is a mental disorder characterized by a constant state of sadness and apathyAnd it can have its origin in a concrete event or in a group of experiences and characteristics of the person which caused the onset of depression.
Once we are aware of the situation we are facing, we can apply all the tips gathered here to be able to deal with the problem effectively, providing our child with all the resources he needs to overcome the problem. state in which, unfortunately, it sank. Some people will find it more useful in specific advice while others will find it in others, as each case is personal and unique.
The important thing is to have a panoply of alternatives to find new methods of help or additions to those we have already applied, so that everyone can select one, several or even all, according to their needs. So let’s start to expand on each of the tips on this list for learning how to help a teenager with depression.
1. Be aware of the problem
Obviously everyone has better days and worse days when it comes to mood, and you may even have shorter or longer streaks in which sadness, joy, or other emotions predominate. This is even more pronounced in adolescents, who due to all the changes they are going through physically and psychologically they are more likely to experience these mood swings, Sometimes very sudden and explosive.
So, as parents, we can get used to seeing similar situations with our teenage son and we run the risk of the situation getting worse and not being able to give him the importance he deserves. This can happen, in the first place, because we are not able to realize that what is happening to our child is more than just an episode of sadness. But something more serious can happen, and we realize the situation but don’t give it the importance it deserves, thinking it will happen.
And is one of the problems with psychological disorders that they often fall into the mistake of thinking that they will resolve themselves. And, while they can sometimes refer to a person’s own resilience, it makes sense that it should be treated the same as an organic problem, such as a contusion, broken bone, digestive problem, or pain. any other type. Hence the importance of the following tips on how to help a teenager with depression.
2. Seek professional help
As we anticipated, another key to being able to cope with a situation as serious as a depressive state in our teenager, is to correctly assess his condition, and therefore the most sensible option. It is to turn to a professional, expert who knows this problem, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Thanks to your knowledge you will be able to assess whether the situation your child is experiencing is compatible with that of depression and can therefore offer the appropriate treatment.
It is true that, for different circumstances, some people do not seek psychological help when they are suffering from depression, either because they ignore the functions of this figure, or because of the social stigma that still exists today. concerning mental health, either because they prefer to explore other alternatives, or because they do not have the means to access this help, etc. Each situation is very personal and we cannot judge everyone’s decisions lightly..
What is certain is that in some cases depression can be overcome without the help of a psychologist, but with his help we will facilitate the process so that the process takes less time, for the person to acquire the tools to advance your condition. and improve yourself and minimize your impact on your life. For this reason, one of the best tips for helping a teenager with depression is finding a professional who will give you the guidance you need to overcome the problem as quickly as possible.
3. Unconditional support
Unconditional support is something parents should offer their children in any situation, however especially since it is a subject as delicate as psychopathology, And depression is.
A person mired in a state of depression is like a castaway floating adrift in the sea. It may take luck and find a table to hold onto and get down to the ground soon, but of course it will all be easier. if you have someone to help you.
Support is always important, but even more so if it comes from reference figures, personalized in this case by the father or mother or legal guardian. Due to the characteristics of depression, the adolescent may be reluctant to receive helpWhether they prefer to be alone or even get angry when trying to care for them and find out what they need, but it is important that the support does not stop even if the response does not stop. is not what we would like at the start.
So if we think about how to help a teenager with depression, it is essential to keep your hand outstretched at all times and give our child all the resources he may need to gradually regain his pathological mood until he finally overcomes depression. The role of parental support is essential in this task and we must be aware of this to make the most of this precious resource.
4. Fix the causes
The next point would be about remedying the situations that would cause the problem. This tip on how to help a teenager with depression it may be satisfied in some cases, but not in allAs we have already seen, this disorder does not always have a specific origin, or at least is not as visible as one might think. That is why we must always adapt to what we already know the guidelines that the professional therapist gives us in this regard.
However, if it is obvious that there is a situation that is upsetting our child’s mood to the point of causing him depression, we must act on it. The casuistry can be very varied, and can involve problems with their circle of peers, unwanted situations at school (such as bullying, or difficulties in studying), a duel in the face of their parents’ divorce, death of a loved one. , or many other situations.
Obviously, some events will be more likely to be repaired than others, but the important thing is what we do about them, that the situation has the least possible impact on our child, and above all, give him the tools so that he can express what he thinks about it, What are his needs and, as we have seen in the previous point, accompany him on this path, until he manages to overcome, thanks to all the help received and especially to his own work in this respect.
5. Support your circle
Although parental support is vital, often adolescents they find it easier to listen to their own friends.
Therefore, we must use this tool and also ask for their collaboration from the people who constitute the closest circle of friends of our child, because they may have more ability to “get the message across” and be closer to it, and often they are. adolescents tend to maintain a communication distance with their parents.
In this way, we will achieve two things, on the one hand, our child will have more supportive people, what he needs in his situation, and on the other hand, we will have powerful allies to better serve as a bond of communication. Between him and us, two-way, so that’s a big piece of advice on how to help a teenager with depression.
- Barra, I., Cerna, R., Kramm, D., Véliz, V. (2006). Health problems, stress, adjustment, depression and social support in adolescents. Psychological therapy.
- Leyva-Jiménez, R., Hernández-Juárez, AM, López-Gaona, G. (2007). Depression in adolescents and family functioning. Medical Journal of the Mexican Institute of Social Security.
- Pardo, G., Sandoval, A., Umbarila, D. (2004). Adolescence and depression. Colombian Journal of Psychology.