teen depression awarenessIt’s important to know how to be an attentive parent during one of the most trying times of their development – the teenage years. Boy, puberty really does come on strong. You’ll notice this in a few ways. The hormones can lead to an apathetic or combative nature from time to time. Teenagers like sleeping in late at the weekends. This is also normal. Teenagers are trying, temperamental, and care about what their peers think of them. While not completely easy to understand and maybe this isn’t the healthiest development, it’s still normal.

However, noticing unhealthy changes in your teenager can alert you to a problem sooner rather than later. It can inform you that difficulties are going to occur. It can help you apply the best remedy if there is one. We often think that teenagers acting out, or perhaps becoming withdrawn is an element of them misbehaving, this isn’t always the case. But to apply a solution you need to first find the problem. Consider the following:

Withdrawn

If you notice your teenager is starting to become quite withdrawn, it might be that they’re unfortunately feeling less chipper than they once were. Of course, you must account for the normal hormonal changes that can make them feel quite lethargic or tired, but sometimes if you notice a radical change in their behavior, or perhaps something that would have been considered quite odd now becoming the new norm, you may wish to ask them if anything is wrong.

One of the main factors of depression is stifling up, unable to communicate and feeling less than confident in a resolution. Teen depression treatment can be targeted and extremely effective, but a diagnosis requires that the symptoms are identified. A child acting withdrawn, deciding to drop their previous hobbies, perhaps spending little time involved in family life and more time in their room can all be warning signs you might wish to look out for. Remember that dragging them down and forcing them to confront their situation can be quite a difficult time if you’re not careful with them. They may feel put on the spot, and this could potentially lead to them becoming further withdrawn. This isn’t a scenario you should be aiming for, so it might take gentle conversation, a kind gesture and presence in order to ensure they begin to come out of their shell.

Lethargic

We previously mentioned how lethargy can be a good sign of depression. It can. It can also be a sign of overstress, general fatigue, or perhaps another medical issue to be concerned with. You can identify lethargy through repeated spouts of yawning, dark circles under the eye, pale skin and perhaps a reduce quality of hair and nails. While lethargy isn’t always a symptom of depression, it can be caused by it, or perhaps be an indication that things are heading that way.

Helping your teen enjoy a positive, disciplined schedule is one thing, but even without heavy stresses on them, if they continually have trouble waking up and seem tired at all hours of the day, there might be a larger issue at work to consider. Lethargy is never fun. It can rob us of our passion for life, and make our beds the only place we feel fully ourselves. It might be worth speaking to a sleep doctor, perhaps a counsellor or therapist, or another professional to get to the heart of the issue. Of course, lethargy can also be identified through conversation, or noticing certain behaviors. Pornography, internet or video game addiction can lead to these feelings of lethargy. That means identifying the problem and fostering good behaviors could be the major solution here, including implementing new methods of internet or recreational monitoring.

Quietness

A child becoming more and more quiet can be a sign that something is wrong, particularly true if they were previously quite animated and fuelled. Of course, teenagers are usually bundles of energy, but they do mellow out as they increase in years. However, sometimes odd silence, shyness, or perhaps an unwillingness to engage in conversation at all can show signs of social deprivation, inability to communicate properly or perhaps a lack of interest in doing so at all. Social withdrawal is absolutely a sign of depression, so it might be worth asking your child about their recent activities with friends, or even asking their friends if they’ve noticed a change in your child lately. All of this can have big impacts on the solution you choose to implement, potentially helping your child get the treatment they need ahead of time.

Fashion Changes

Fashion changes can sometimes become a symptom of depression. We’re obviously not talking about a new style, or perhaps trying to fit into a certain subculture, although sometimes those subcultures need to be identified before you allow your child to fully take part in them. For example, Goth culture has existed for a fair amount of years now, but sometimes the message it sends could be seen as less proactive, even for a child trying to fit in and going through a phase. But that’s your responsibility as a parent to decide, and not for us to judge either way. However, fashion changes that might be considerable include wearing many layers even in the warmer months (perhaps hiding or covering,) or wearing an abundance of long-sleeved of covering clothing despite usually enjoying their wardrobe in many different ways. This might at worst be the fault of potential self-harming, and that needs to be addressed immediately. It might be to cover weight change. At best, it might be they have a silly transfer or permanent tattoo they don’t want you to see, the latter of course is bad but much preferable to these first two options.

Watch how your child chooses to express themselves over the years. Any undue changes might be a symptom of something more.

With these tips, noticing unhealthy changes in your teenager could potentially help them get out of a rut they are on, or help them from falling deeper into a personal difficulty.

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