As parents, our worst nightmare is that harm and pain should befall our teenager. We do our best to protect them from the dangers of the world. We stay up-to-date on the latest technological advances in car design, for example, so as to protect them when they drive. We do our best to secure our computers and help them learn good internet browsing practices. And we insist that they see the doctor regularly for their physical health.
But dealing with a teen’s mental health is a responsibility that parents sometimes feel a little intimidated by, because the psychology of humans, much less young adults, is such a vast, complex, and at times mysterious thing. This certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything to help your depressed teenager, but it does mean that you should consider seeking the help of a professional immediately.
Know Your Teen Intimately
Your biggest strength as a parent dealing with a depressed teen is that you know your child intimately, and therefore, you can observe his or her actions and listen to his or her words. Your careful observation of your teenager is the first line of defense in combating teen depression. How does your teen react when you ask about his or her day? Does your teen confide in you that he or she is sad? How often does your teen sleep? Have you noticed that your teen has begun abusing alcohol or drugs? Does your family have a history of depression-related illness? Your job as a parent with a depressed teen is to gather as much information as possible as you try to comfort your teen.
Seek Help Immediately
Should you suspect that your teenager is depressed, you should seek help immediately. In many cases, severe depression can be harmful to your teenager, so you should not risk letting him or her commit self-harm simply because you suspect it’s just a growing phase. It’s better to be safe than sorry in these cases.
Communicate with Your Teen
Of course, you should do your best to communicate with your teen regarding your desire to seek professional help for him or her. This is an important decision, so you should do your best to talk it out with your teen, give him or her options, and so on. If your teen resists, only then should you consider exerting your legal right as parent and accessing professional help.
Help Yourself Help Your Teen
Once you’ve contacted a professional, use that opportunity to also help yourself learn how to deal with your depressed teen. A doctor of psychology can provide you support as well, and he or she would know far more than you could ever read online about how you can help your teen feel better.
Remember, this is a serious issue; your teen deserves the best help he or she can get. Seek medical help.
This guest post is contributed by Barbara Jolie, who writes on the topics of online classes. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: firstname.lastname@example.org.