Your teen was diagnosed with depression – now what?
Even with the right mental health therapy and medications, there is no quick fix for depression. Recovery can be long and difficult.
WCAP Counseling, a dependable source of counseling services in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, lists down the following things that parents can do to support their depressed teen:
- Open an honest conversation.
It is important to talk to your teenager about their depression. They may not open up to you immediately, but it is important to let them know that you are there for them when they are ready to talk about it. Also, let them know that you are ready to talk about whatever is happening in their lives – you don’t just have to talk about their depression.
- Be present and available, but not persistent and intrusive.
Your teen might not open up straight away. They may not want to talk to you, they may even isolate themselves for a time. That’s okay. Give them some space, but don’t forget to let them know that you are always there when they are ready to talk. Be present and available. Also, keep trying to talk to them but be careful about pushing too hard. It can be a tricky line to balance, but the important thing is that your teen knows you are there for them.
- Monitor their symptoms.
There are specific depression symptoms that you can monitor. Some of the common symptoms of depression include changes in sleeping and eating patterns, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, lack of energy, agitation and irritation, concentration problems, and suicidal ideation/attempts.
If your teen has thoughts of suicide or has attempted it, it is highly important that you contact 911 or seek the help of mental health professionals.
- Give them resources.
Aside from encouraging your teen to seek professional counseling, there are some great resources out there designed to help depressed teenagers. If they are still hesitant to open up to you, give them some resources that they can turn to when they need help. Some resources that can be useful for your teen include National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, The Jed Foundation, Safe Place, and The Trevor Project.