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As parents or guardians one of the most important things you want for a child is for them to be happy and healthy. Unfortunately, for some children, as they hit their teenage years, they can struggle with depression.

mother hugging teen

While it’s true that depression can look similar in teens as it does in adults, it’s important to be cognizant of some of those early warning signs so that you can help your teenager cope with and manage any depressive episodes.

Throughout this article, we will discuss signs, symptoms, and how to help a teen who may be suffering from depression.

What Is Depression?

Depression is defined as a mood disorder that leads to symptoms that can impact mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

More specifically, in teenagers, this will be more than the stereotypical teenage angst or moodiness that can occur during their teenage years of development. It’s important to note that, unlike teen angst, depression can impact social development in the child’s functioning.

Signs and symptoms of depression

Depression for teenagers goes beyond general feelings, apprehension, and insecurity. It’s important to be vigilant because it can have a lasting impact if left untreated. Some signs to look out for include:

You may be asking yourself, could some of this be considered normal? While it’s normal for teens to go through many changes, including changes in interest in hobbies or friends, it’s important to take note of any changes in their lives. If you notice mood or behavior changes in your teenager that seem to be extremely concerning or are having a negative impact on their lives. Please schedule a visit with your child’s doctor.

How To Support Your Teenager

Knowing the signs and how to support your teenager through this period feel like two completely different topics. However, by knowing the signs, it will make it easier for you to talk to them about any of the symptoms they are experiencing. You can show support to your teenager in several ways.

Begin by encouraging them to have supportive relationships with their peers. Talk to your teenager about staying connected to other people, whether that is their family or friends.

Explain depression in a way that makes sense and is not judgmental to your teenager. When doing this, it’s important to help them understand their feelings and explain that solutions are available. If you feel comfortable and confident, you can also talk about how it’s caused, including biological and environmental factors and life changes.

Building off of that, it’s important to address the myths and stigma surrounding depression. Many believe that depression is someone just being lazy or someone who cries a lot. In reality, it can be someone who is struggling to socialize, sleep, eat, or maintain personal hygiene.

Take care of yourself and other members of your family. While this may sound selfish, your health and the health of the rest of your family can suffer also. Focus on making sure your children or spouse can talk to you about any concerns or problems they may be experiencing. This will help to create a solid family dynamic that your teen will appreciate and take notice of.

Encourage Them to Seek Support

Fortunately, there are resources and ways to help your teenager who may be struggling with depression. There is no right or wrong way to help someone who is dealing with depression. One of the best ways to help your teen struggling with depression is to encourage them to speak to a licensed and trained therapist. Reach out to learn more about depression therapy or teen counseling.