Do you suspect that your teenaged child is suffering from depression and anxiety? If so, you will likely be wondering what you can do to help them. You will also likely have a number of questions relating to support, treatment, and the various signs to watch out for. Here are a few helpful answers to assist you in effectively getting your teen on the road to recovery.
How common is depression and anxiety in teens?
Far more common than you probably imagined. The National Institute of Mental Health has estimated that approximately 3.2 million 12 to 17-year-olds have suffered at least one major depressive episode within the past year. In most instances, depression and anxiety are interlinked.
What are the signs of anxiety and depression in teens?
It can be challenging to recognize signs of depression and anxiety in teens. This is because the teenage years are notoriously fraught with bad moods, irritability, and experimentation. However, there are a few important signs to keep a close eye out for, such as:
- Drug and alcohol abuse: teens, just like adults, may turn to substances as a means of ‘escaping’ their feelings of anxiety and/or depression.
- Problems at school: if your child’s grades are slipping, they are bullying others or are being bullied themselves, if they are getting into trouble more often, or are skipping school altogether, there is a good chance that depression and anxiety are the culprit.
- Low self-esteem: constantly dealing with feelings of depression and anxiety can also be signs as they eat away at a teen’s self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Physical changes: weight loss or weight gain, fatigue, and frequent headaches are all possible signs of a mental health issue.
What treatment is available for depression and anxiety in teens?
Support is available in many forms. For example, parents may wish to enroll their child in a teen-specific treatment program, like those offered at igniteteentreatment.com, especially if the depression is caused from drug and alcohol abuse. There are also a number of online support groups that can aid a person in their recovery. Ultimately, it is always recommended to consult with an expert who is fully qualified to assist your teen in learning how to manage their anxiety and depression. Never attempt to resolve the situation on your own.
How can I support my teen?
The most important step, aside from getting them the help that they require, is to simply be there throughout the journey. Make yourself available whenever they need to chat and strive to listen openly without judgment. Do not be overbearing or try to force them to share more than they are comfortable with, and avoid confrontation. Constantly aim to set good, healthy examples and encourage them to make positive changes. Finally, work on being patient. They may take a while to open up regarding their feelings, but with gentle persistence and understanding, it will happen eventually.
Remember to take action immediately the moment you suspect depression and/or anxiety in your teen. Early treatment is key to a full recovery and effective day-to-day management of the condition.