Depression can be a scary topic for parents. While the thought of your child in pain can be hurtful itself, it’s important that you take action to help your child as best you can.
Many parents attribute their child’s sleepiness or sadness to laziness. Truly listening to what your daughter has to say is the first step in fighting depression.
How can I help my daughter with depression?
Talk to your teen about how they feel. If it seems as though they’re experiencing depression, take action immediately. Talk to your teen to see what their feelings are. As you talk, listen for signs of depression.
Having your teen assessed by a mental health professional will determine whether it’s depression or not. With the help of a licensed therapist, you can address depression and get them the resources they need.
Understanding mental health
Another important step in fighting depression is understanding mental health. Mental health is a complex subject. Many parents make the mistake of thinking their child’s depression is something that will pass. While things will get better with time, your daughter needs your help right now.
If you aren’t already familiar with mental health, start doing your research. Teenagers frequently experience depression. When left unchecked, depression puts teens at risk for serious issues.
Parents have a particularly hard time handling their child’s depression. While you may want to fix everything yourself, these issues are a bit more complex.
As parents try to help their child with depression, it’s important to know the causes behind it. A variety of factors, like hormone changes, brain chemistry, trauma, and negative patterns can lead to depression.
Signs your daughter is experiencing depression
Feeling sad or tired isn’t always a cause for alarm. However, your daughter may be experiencing depression if she’s constantly irritable or sad for days or weeks at a time.
Likewise, take note if your daughter’s sleeping, eating, or socializing habits are changing. When depression strikes, it often leaves teens feeling hopeless, worthless, and guilty.
Other signs include emotional changes like a loss of interest in hobbies and typical activities. Behavioral changes that are indicative of depression include a change in appetite, restlessness, and poor academic performance. Angry outbursts and use of substances are other indications that your child is experiencing depression.
Treating teenage depression
In working to treat your teen’s depression, you have a few options. As your daughter continues to see a therapist, they may recommend certain medications for depression. In addition to this, there are a few things you can do at home to help them feel better.
Parents should make sure their homes are a stable environment for their children. Do this by promoting a healthy lifestyle with proper sleep, regular exercise, and a healthy diet. Likewise, make sure your daughter has positive connections with family and friends.
Stress, anxiety, and relationship issues can all contribute to depression. Make sure your teen feels secure and safe, at home and school. Do your best to reduce stressful scenarios to make your teen feel as stable as possible.
Creating a safety plan
Not all teens with depression are in danger of hurting themselves, but it does put them at risk. Take the initiative to make sure your teen is safe by developing a safety plan.
Your safety plan should include a list of actions to take and people to call when depression kicks in. Include a list of trustworthy people your teen can contact if their feelings get worse.
Likewise, your plan should include watching for suicide risk factors. This includes increased substance use or thoughts about death. Parents should make sure that knives, guns, ropes, and medicine aren’t within reach.
Depression doesn’t disappear overnight. As your teen continues to battle depression, let her know you’ll never stop fighting for her. Use reliable resources and trusted professionals to help your daughter take control of her mental health.