Teenage depression is not just bad tempers and the sporadic anger or gloominess—it’s a grave problem that can have a lifelong effect if not acknowledged at the right time. Teen depression can lead to drug and alcohol abuse, self-loathing, pregnancy, violence, and even suicide.
Reality of Teen Depression
According to suicide.org, a teen takes his or her own life every 100 minutes worldwide. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24 –Frightening?The question we need to ask here is – are we as parents unwittingly building up stress for those who look up to us instead of nurturing them. Stressed adults has almost become the norm for many busy and strained urban families and this day to day stress and anxiety gets transmitted to our children all the while they are growing – teenage stress and depression doesn’t happen in a day it is the result of a prolonged stressed and anxious childhood.
As per the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry-Depression in childhood and adolescence is similar to adult major depressive disorder, although young sufferers may exhibit increased irritability or aggressive and self-destructive behaviour, rather than the all-encompassing sadness associated with adult forms of depression.
Never write off your teenagers frequent mood swings and anger as teenage drama or hormonal problem, young minds can be fragile, still developing and when suddenly faced with adult situations or peer pressure or societal change many are not able to cope with it. They become snappy and irritable specially so with the parents or siblings.
Some Signs to Watch Out For-
. Frequent irritable, cranky and sad demeanour
. Loss of interest in sports, friends or other usual activities that they loved
. Changes in appetite, significant weight gain or loss.
. Lack or complete disinterest in school activities or studies and sudden fall of grades.
. Frequent complaints about headaches or stomach aches
. Too much or too little sleep, withdrawal from all close and loved ones
. Writing or reading about death, giving away favorite belongings
Give Your Teen the Best Start
We need to give our children a secure and good start so that they grow up to be holistically healthy individuals.
1. Healthy Habits
From a very tender age we must encourage regular physical activity and healthy eating habits this helps the child to achieve and maintain a good body and mind balance. Physical activity helps build a strong body and mind. The combination of good diet and physical activity leads to clear thinking and lack of stress.
2. Good Sleep
Take care that the child is getting a good sleep. Some research suggests that teenagers need more sleep than adults however it’s often the case that they get less than they need. Sleep is important to improve, happiness, alertness and concentration.
3.Listen to The Child
Learn to listen to your child however unimportant the matter might be. If you do not listen to your kid, when they are small, soon they will stop sharing with you. Look into their eyes, offer them confidence. Let them know that you are there.
4. Share the Load
Lastly share the load, give your child a free environment to grow and bloom- home should be a place where the kids can take off their burdens- listen to child from a very young age,spend quality time with your child , make her / him feel secure and loved at all costs- don’t judge or compare. Remember that every child is unique –make every child feel well and secure emotionally and physically. Every child deserves unconditional Love.