Do you think
Still talking is that it. For many people, it’s hard to believe that mental illness, including depression, is still an issue among our teenagers. Children often hide how they feel from their parents, who may end up thinking anything they see is just a result of hormonal change, something to push aside or ignore.
Still talking and thinking
Beware, though: Depression is not going away.
People with depression can experience and display a wide range of (often extremely negative) emotions and behaviors that they don’t understand. Imagine a youngster dealing all this every single day. These symptoms may not be easy to recognize. And the sufferer often has a hard time expressing what they feel or conceals it for fear of being misunderstood. In a grin-and-bear-it society where no one wants to hear your sob story.
Still talking & laughing
All this makes it less likely sometimes for parents to even identify that their child has depression. So, what should parents, teachers, or other adults privileged to raise and serve teenagers do? Yes, our jobs and busy lives can make it difficult to be more observant of how a person around us emotional state. But it’s important to remember that continual stress and anxiety in a child’s life can ultimately turn into depression if it is ignored.
With hormonal changes and the ever-changing school environment, growing up is a stressful time for most teenagers. Peer pressure and low self-esteem can make it even more complicated. They want to fit in, and are trying to discover who they are growing up to be. However, there are ways to help your child along. Get to know your child, especially your teenager. They aren’t the same little one who use to toddle along all those years ago.
2020 Still talking
Schedule time in your busy day to talk to your youngster. Kids act like they don’t need you, but they will appreciate the time spent together and cherish the little things we as parents may take for granted, carrying the memories for years to come. When you develop habit of communicating with your children, they will see the effort and love and may eventually learn to confide in you.
Be careful not to smother your child, though, especially a teenager. They need their space to grow into their adult selves.
Parents who spend time with their child may be able to see if the child is struggling with depression. They can understand and act immediately when the behavior of the child is not the norm for him or her. That disruptive, out of control behavior may be a cry for help, the only way they know to get attention.
If a child who’s normally a social butterfly suddenly begins to avoid social contact, you should investigate. If it progresses to feelings of low self-worth, or changes in diet and/or sleep patterns, then it’s definitely time to get a licensed counselor and a primary care doctor involved. Be aware, though, that depression symptoms can sometimes hide pretty well, or even be hidden.
Trust your senses. And try to remain calm. Your teen may need you more than you think.