One of the worst things that can happen to a teenager is the onset of depression. It can affect the child’s relationships and cause a downturn in academic performance. One of the big problems found in teenage depression is that many turn to substance abuse to get relief from feelings they don’t understand.
Teenage depression can become serious and cause life-long problems, so preventing teenage depression is the best way to go. Parental support is absolutely critical to help ward off teenage depression, but even when parents are supportive, normal, day-to-day life and lack of coping skills can cause teens to become overwhelmed.
There are ways to help your teens cope with and understand problems that they may have to confront. Keeping them in physical good shape is one of the best preventatives for teenage depression. Make sure your teen develops good eating and sleeping habits as much as you can. It’s normal for teens to want junk food, stay up late and sleep until all hours, but parents should keep a watchful eye and not let these bad habits becoming the norm.
Mental health is also important to preventing teenage depression. A teen’s sense of self-esteem is vital to a healthy mental attitude, but there are all sorts of obstacles that can deflate that self-esteem. Children can sometimes be cruel or even bullying, and if your teen is confronted with an inordinate amount of teasing or bullying, he or she may be overcome with feelings of low self-esteem.
It’s important that parents take on the role of uplifting their teens, complimenting them and praising them rather than finding fault all the time. They need to know that they’re loved and cherished, but parents should also pepper that adoration with discipline that the teens can depend on, such as curfews, schedules and good eating and sleeping habits.
Sometimes, parents feel that no matter what they do to boost a teen’s self-esteem, it’s a losing battle. Teenage girls are more susceptible to bouts of depression than boys and that, combined with hormonal changes, can push them over the edge. They may become angry, irritable, argumentative and downright hard to get along with.
Keep in mind the challenging changes that are taking place in your teenage girl’s body. Physical development may occur more quickly in some teens than others and relationships may change quickly, causing confusion and anxiety that can turn into full blown depression. Don’t be discouraged if this is happening to your daughter. Instead, try to help her understand these changes and reassure her that the feelings are temporary.
Parents may be able to prevent teenage depression by trying a number of things, including upholding rules that keep your teen healthy, both mentally and physically, and always keeping the lines of communication open.