How You Can Help
Often a parent will feel inadequate when it comes to helping their depressed child, most times feeling rather overwhelmed. But there are ways in which your support as a parent can make a huge difference. In Catherine Radloff’s article about supporting a depressed teenager, she outlines various ways in which parents can positively influence their child’s struggle with depression.
Several studies have shown that the support from family in properly managing mental illness can greatly reduce the depth of depressive episodes and the frequency with which they occur.
Below are a few ways parents can help their depressed teenager:
Seek Professional Help
Don’t stop contacting a mental health professional if you think your teen may be suffering from depression. These specialists are trained to diagnose the condition no matter the patient’s age and come with expert knowledge that will serve as much-needed support for parents who have to help their child through this challenging time.
Depressed teens will seek solitude, but too much time spent alone with their own dark thoughts can be very damaging. Encourage social interaction on a personal level – social media doesn’t count – and this will help eradicate feelings of isolation.
Get Them Moving
Regular physical activity has been proven to alleviate symptoms of depression. By adopting a good exercise regime, your teen will be taking the right steps to manage their condition healthily.
Monitor all Medication
Suppose your child is under the care of a specialist in mental health, and their condition calls for it. In that case, they will be prescribed anti-depressants to help them manage their condition. Parents need to make sure the child takes the medication on time and in the correct doses.
Listening goes a Long Way.
Teenagers with depression often feel isolated and misunderstood. These feelings cause them to withdraw from people and even lead to very dark thoughts about leaving this world altogether. Parents must keep an open line of communication with their child. Assure them that it’s safe to share their feelings and that you are willing to listen without judgement. Never dismiss what they think and how they feel, which could be detrimental to their state of mind.
Routine & Diet
Depression and anxiety often go hand-in-hand, and a stable, predictable routine is one way of reducing symptoms of anxiety. For instance, your child may have trouble sleeping but will find comfort at a fixed bedtime. Loss of appetite is common in depressed teens, but although they might not be eating well, ensure that they have a healthy selection of foods available. Balanced nutrition plays a key role in keeping the mind and body feeling their best.
The pandemic has taken its toll on everyone, so when you start noticing symptoms of depression in your teen, we urge you to seek help.
At ZwavelStream clinic, you will be met by friendly, professional staff. The clinic is completely destigmatized from other mental health hospitals. Set in Bronberg, Pretoria, surrounded by lush gardens and the tranquillity of nature.
ZwavelStream Clinic is a private psychiatric care facility that provides patients with a tranquil space to achieve mental wellness and rejuvenate their souls. Our team of mental health specialists bring decades of experience and skills to their approach, prioritizing each patient’s recovery and treatment as an individual.
To find out more about our various treatments, visit our treatment & support page.