Prevent Teen Depression!
Teenage is often referred to as the "stress and storm period" in one's life. The hormonal change, confusion between placing them among children or adult, the dilemma about their role in the society, everything together put the teen under a lot of stress. It is common for them to fall into depression at this stage. The increased bullying, not having good friends, all can contribute to this.
Here are some of the suggestions that parents can adopt while dealing their teens.
1. Provide continual warmth, caring, and support:
Parents may think that they have little to offer teens; but recent studies suggest otherwise. Teens with high levels of parental support had lower depression symptoms and lower cortisol and C-reactive protein levels—two physiological markers associated with depression—than teens with less supportive relationships. Interestingly, peer support levels did not change these markers, suggesting that parental support may be key.
2. Teach and model strong social and emotional skills:
Just like adults, teens often have to cope with difficult social and emotional situations—changing friendships, romantic relationships going sour, disappointments in their work, the stress of academics or college admissions procedures. Yet because brains are designed to heighten emotions during adolescence, coping with these challenges can be particularly difficult, making teens more prone to depression.
3. Encourage positive peer relationships:
All teens look to their peers for approval and status. But if these relationships are fraught, they may lead to depression. It has been proved by psychologists that teens with at least one close friend were more psychologically resilient, because friendship helped them to cope with emotional setbacks in healthier ways.
So how can parents help? By not freaking out because our kids have “too many” or “not enough” friends, and by understanding that taking risks in relationships is part of growing up. Parents can find time to talk to their teens about what it means to be a caring friend and a thoughtful romantic partner, and how to protect oneself if a relationship goes sour.
4. Encourage teens to seek purpose in life:
As teens put lots of effort into excelling at schoolwork and after-school activities, it’s important that those activities have some personal meaning for them, rather than serving as padding for college applications.
Parents need to engage their teens by asking open-ended questions about what they care about and then listening carefully to their responses, in order to assess where their sense of purpose may lie.
5. Work to change the school environment:
Studies prove that systemic changes in schools, for example, that could lead to better psychological health for teens.
Of course, the path to teen depression can be varied and complicated. We can’t simply apply a formula and expect everything to turn out fine. Still, every trial is worthy as far as the child's mental health is involved.