Here are the 8 tips for parents can do:
- Recognize that depressed teens may find it hard to express their feeling or may not understand what is happening to them. They may not even be aware of the symptoms of depression.
- Teens tend to express their depression in ways different from those of adults, so alert to major changes in your child’s behavior, eating habits, moods, sleep patterns, or social interactions-especially if the changes persist for weeks.
- Take seriously any comments or hints regarding suicide.
- If you suspect depression (not just the blues), consider getting a professional diagnosis.
- Help your teen adhere to the doctor’s prescribed treatment, and consult the doctor if you see no improvement or observe unpleasant side effects.
- Have a stable family routine for eating, exercising, and sleeping.
- Maintain good communication with your teen, and help him or her to deal with any stigma associated with depression.
- Because depression can make one feel alone ashamed, or worthless, regularly reassure your teen of your love.
Care for your mind and body
Moderate to severe depression is usually managed with medication and counseling by a mental health professional. And illness can affect any part of our body, including our brain! Lifestyle changes may also be advisable because our mind and body are closely connected.
If you suffer from depression, take reasonable measures to care for your physical and mental health. For instance, eat wholesome meals, get sufficient sleep, and exercise regularly. Exercise releases chemicals that can lift your mood, increase your energy, and improve your sleep. If possible, try to recognize triggers and early warning signs of a depressive mood and create a suitable plan of action. Confide in someone you trust. A supportive network of close family members and friends may help your depression, possibly reducing symptoms. Record your thought and feelings in a journal. Above all, be sure to address your spiritual needs. This can greatly improve your outlook on life.
Create a “First-Aid Kit” for Your Emotions
If you suffer from depression, a practical suggestion to help you control your thoughts and feelings is to create what has been called an emotional first-aid kit. The kit, which can be adjusted as you see fit such as:
- Contact information of people to call when you feel down.
- A journal containing your positive thoughts as well as positive experiences you have enjoyed
- Mementos to remind you of people who love you
- Favorite songs that are positive and upholding
- Inspirational sayings and encouraging articles.
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