Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Recognizing Your Teen's Depression

By Jaime Charlies

Teen depression comes in two forms. It can be a simple examples such as an episode in which they are upset because of a break up or argument with a friend. Or, it can come in a constant, heavy depression that can and does destroy lives. There are many things that you, as a parent can do to help your child know what to expect with depression. Teen depression is serious and should be handled in the right way.

First, it's important for you to know that there are two types of depression: one, that flares up after a difficult or tragic incident, such as a break-up or death of someone close. The second type is a gradual and constant depression that hangs over your child. Whichever type of depression it is, take it seriously for your child's sake. Don't laugh at their pain; listen to them and support them lovingly.

Pulling away from the things that they used to love to do.

Distancing themselves from friends, social situations and activities they enjoy. Teens who are happy and healthy enjoy having fun with friends. If that changes, something may be wrong.

Not eating well. If your teen eats little when they normally have a hearty appetite, something may be wrong. If your teen is overeating to hide or suppress their emotion, that is also a sign. If your teen isn't eating at all, you know that there is a problem.

Inability to sleep, staying up too late without going to bed. Without sleep, the body and mind become more and more fatigued, struggling to function properly. Your teen's depression will worsen as they can't or won't sleep.

Feeling sad or angry all the time, not just some of the time. It's normal to be upset when something bad happens; everyone gets angry, sad and unhappy sometimes. But if you notice that your teen is always upset or constantly angry, that can be a sign of depression.

Depression itself is a serious condition, as it can lead to loss of motivation in school, poor choices and unhealthy habits. But even more concerning is how depression can lead to problems with alcohol and drugs. Teens who are depressed are more vulnerable to the highs and feeling of escape that these substances give. They may think about taking these substances to harm themselves.

Don't give up on your teen, even if he or she turns away from you or says nothing is wrong. Be a good listener, check to see if they being sharing a lot of depression insights. Show them you care, and seek counseling or medical help for them if necessary. The more involved you are as a parent, the more you can help your teen overcome depression.

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