My Teen is Depressed
Adolescence is a trying time for both teenagers and parents. Teenagers are old enough to begin to desire more freedom yet most are not yet responsible enough to be granted all the freedom they desire. Parents have to deal with their child whom they no longer can treat and control like a kid but who is not yet an adult, yet insists on being treated like one. Raging hormones and predilection for risk-taking makes it very probable that a teen will get involved in activities and pick up habits that are detrimental to their physical, mental, social, and spiritual health.
While growing up, teenagers, who until the onset of puberty have been seeking the approval and acceptance of their parents, relatives, and older siblings, suddenly want to be accepted by their peers. We all know that children can be cruel, making it harder for a teenager to fit in. To fit in, a teenager can sometimes resort to engaging in activities that are harmful.
Changes taking place in their bodies can result in a teenager having body image issues and low self-esteem, which makes them more prone to peer pressure and makes them more likely to want to fit in with the crowd no matter the cost. They pick up non-healthy practices as a result and in some cases that might escalate to various disorders such as bulimia and anorexia.
Not feeling accepted, beautiful, smart or charming as they would like to be, combined with what they may be going through at home or at school such as teasing and bullying, can make teenagers more prone to mood swings and stress, and that sometimes may lead to depression. Dealing with a depressed teenager is extremely challenging for parents as it is rare that the teenager will confide in their parents or guardians since they treasure their privacy like never before in their life.
It is therefore important for a parent to be on the lookout for signs of stress and depression and to make sure that the problem is confronted as soon as possible. There are various ways of dealing with stress and depression in a healthy way such as sports and art instead of destructive means like drugs.
A safe environment and open communication is also important in detecting, averting and reversing teenage depression at home.