Parents usually never witness the extreme social pressure their teenagers often face. Their kids may be feeling these pressures for any number of reasons, such as an overwhelming amount of school work, fear of not making a sports team or not fitting in with a certain social group. When many teenagers walk into their home after school, they often have an uncanny ability to slip by parents to their bedroom to hide their true emotions.
If negative, these emotions can lead to devastating results, such as depression. The condition affects nearly 20 percent of adolescents before they become adults and is considered the root cause of a number of other mental health symptoms and disorders, including drug and alcohol abuse, self-loathing and mutilation, pregnancy, violence or even suicide.
Once recognized by a parent, he or she will have to find a way to discuss depression with their teenager, and it won’t be an easy task. The same reluctance the child portrays when they quickly slip by the parent to their room is the same unwillingness they’re likely to show when being confronted about depression.
So the question remains: how do you discuss depression with your teenager when you believe they suffer from it?
1. Don’t panic
As a parent, your first role is to actually think about yourself. The worst thing you can do is panic because you may not only worsen your child’s condition, but also prevent yourself from properly communicating with him or her. Remember, clinical depression can be treated 80 percent of the time with a great support group and doctor.
Reading this article is a great first step in helping your child overcome depression. Why is that? Because you’re doing your research. Read helpful articles and talk to professionals such as those at Fairwinds Treatment Center who are experts at understanding how to first approach a teenager suffering from depression.
3. Reassure your child everything will be OK
Compared to an adult, a teenager will likely know little about depression and how to properly handle the scary feelings associated with it. Because of this you’ll need to first reassure them that it’s OK and normal to feel depressed. Ensure them that opening up won’t hurt their relationship with you and that you’ll support them in helping them overcome the problem.
These are the first steps in helping your child recover. The next step is obtaining treatment from a facility like Fairwinds Treatment Center, which was founded by Dr.M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef over 25 years ago. Dr. El-Yousef is a leader and pioneer in the field of dual diagnosis and psychiatry, an approach that treats a range of behaviors from alcohol and drug addiction to depression and disorders by addressing the root psychological causes. By tackling these underlying issues with a combination of clinical counseling and therapeutic treatment, the team at Fairwinds can help enable a long-lasting recovery for your teen.