As parents, we may sometimes feel that teens are overdramatic. Because they’re going through various physical and mental changes, it’s normal for them to overreact at times, particularly with emotions like sadness. However, when does sadness cross over into teen depression? More importantly, for teens struggling with depression, how can parents best support them? Simply put, teens experience emotions more intensely than adults and lack the necessary experience with them to cope or address them properly. This is due to the fact that they are young and still learning. When parents ignore or dismiss a teen’s mental health, they are doing a disservice not only to the adolescent but creating issues that will likely lead to further problems down the road. Fortunately, the experienced and compassionate counselors and therapists at Venture Academy know how to help both teens and parents through depression.
What Does Teen Depression Look Like?
With all of these changes going on seemingly at once, teens may feel mentally, physically, or spiritually overwhelmed. Therefore, it’s no surprise that 28% of adolescents will eventually experience some degree of depression. However, what does teen depression look like?
Keep in mind that depression can take on different forms. In less severe cases, teens may simply “feel blue” as they go through changes or react to troubling life events. At the other end of the spectrum, however, depression can be a constant and debilitating condition that makes daily living a chore.
It can be difficult to recognize how severe your child’s depression actually is. However, certain signs can be red flags. Some of them include:
- Exhibiting increased irritability
- Acting out defiantly
- Withdrawing from social activities
- Changing sleeping patterns or appetite
- Losing interest in activities that were once fun
- Diminishing school performance
Ways Parents Can Help
For parents, the best weapon against teen depression is compassion and support. There are numerous ways to show teens that they’re not alone in this fight. Parents can start by making sure that their home environment promotes open and honest communication. Let your teens know that you’re always available to listen. Doing this will make it easier for your child to confide in you if they’re in a crisis.
Also, do your research. Learn how you may be pushing teens towards feelings of inadequacy or anxiety. Often the greatest stressors in an adolescent’s life come from the demands placed on them by parents. Further, the quality of home life can make things easier for teens struggling with depression. So it makes sense to reach out for professional help. Not only will the teen suffering from mental health issues get help but parents can learn how to better support their loved ones. For example, Venture Academy offers the following in conjunction with depression treatment:
- Trauma treatment
- Anxiety treatment
- Life skills coaching
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
These treatments and therapies alongside others help teens learn to identify, cope, and overcome their issues. Also, they help foster positive mental health while letting adolescents know there is support for them should they need it.
The Best Resource to Combat Teen Depression
Although diligent parental support is vital in the fight against teen depression, professional intervention may be necessary in some cases.
With three locations throughout Canada, Venture Academy offers various residential treatment programs for teens and their families. In addition to helping teens, we also offer semi-independent support homes for 19–25-year-old young adults looking to get their lives back on track.