Coping with Depression Tips

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How does the teenager react from depression?

Effects of Teenage Depression

Parents may feel their teenagers are purposely acting out to make a statement or gain their attention when in fact these are signs of depression. Below are a few effects that teens may do when suffering from depression.

• Substance abuse: When a teen doesn't know why they are feeling sadness, anxiety, or helplessness, many turn to using drugs or alcohol to get rid of the pain.

• Unworthiness: Self-esteem becomes low and depression can bring stronger negative feelings about body image and self-worth.

• Dieting: Better known as an eating disorder, depressed teens can suffer from anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, or constantly dieting.

• Exercising: Although exercise is great for our bodies, when a teen seems to be over exercising and pushing their bodies to the limit, this can be a sign of depression.

• Self inflictive pain: There are many forms of self injuring your body. A few common coping mechanisms associated with teen depression are cutting, burning, and banging of the head.

• Dramatics: Teenagers suffering from depression can show anxiety, anger, and participate in risky behaviors which could cause serious injury or death. The opposite can occur as well where the depressed teen always seems sad and non-responsive.

• Suicide: A teenager who is seriously depressed will make attempts at suicide. This will be spoken, thought, or attempted. Whenever any indication of suicidal thoughts occurs, immediate attention needs to be given to the teen and help sought.

What are symptoms to look for with teenage depression?

Symptoms of a Depressed Teen

Although depression of adults is widely spoken about, what about teenage depression? Many of the issues teens face everyday can be difficult from family problems at home to difficulty concentrating in school.

Some symptoms of teenage depression may help you recognize if your teenager is suffering and struggling with depression.

• Eating and sleeping habits begin to change: Some examples of eating habits could be eating too much or not eating enough; the same for sleeping.

• Weight gain or weigh loss: If the body is not getting the proper nutrients and enough sleep, then the teenager will begin to show a significant change in weight.

• Focus problems: If your teen is experiencing a lack of concentration and forgetfulness, this can cause school grades to drop.

• Overreaction and lack of patience: Sometimes the slightest criticism can set a teenager off but if it is consistently occurring, seeking professional help is recommended.

• Complaints about feeling sick with no physical symptoms: Teenagers, just like adults, can feel physically sick from depression. Nausea, fatigue, anxiety, and body pain can all be signs they may be suffering from depression.

Where do I begin to understand what depression is?

Learn To Understand What Depression Really IS.

Society places many preconceived stigmas on people that suffer depression. Depression is an illness with similar causes factors as the disease Diabetes.

How serious is depression?

Depression IS More Common Than People Think.

Did you know: 1 in 5 Americans in the country suffer from some form of depression. The APA reports worldwide depression is growing many times faster than AIDS.

Where do I begin to understand what depression is?

Learn To Understand What Depression Really IS.

Society places many preconceived stigmas on people that suffer depression. Depression is an illness with similar causes factors as the disease Diabetes.

Why should parents discuss genetics with their teenager?

Genetics and Teen Depression

During the teenage years, it is known many teens go through changes due to their hormones. Sometimes depression is not figured out right away by the family members. If depression runs in your family history, making your teenager aware of the sickness is suggested.

Discussing the symptoms, causes, and effects from depression allows the teen to realize if the symptoms do occur it is safe to speak with you about what they are feeling. Parents who explain to their teenagers about their genetics and family history of mental illness are understanding and open to discussing depression. Just like a physical sickness like Cancer which is passed through genetics, depression needs to be treated the same way.

By parents being open and explaining to your teenagers about depression, the more your teenagers will feel comfortable to come speak with you if they begin to find these feelings taking over their thoughts.

How can teens learn to cope with their stress?

Teenage Depression and the School Effect

Teenagers have many things occurring in their lives from school activities, a social life, to keeping up with their grades. The amount of stress a teenager faces each day can trigger behaviors which can cause a depression to occur.

The pressure to do well in school can be brought on by parent's as well as the teenagers themselves. To get the highest grades over peers is a stressor that many teens face. If a teenager has been a consistent “A” student and then one day they received a mark of a “B,” this could affect the teen to begin a downward spiral.

Some teens feel worthless after receiving a lower grade than they are used to and this can be a trigger of depression. Stress plays a very large role in teenage depression. Just from this one incident, the teen can feel ashamed, confused, sad, and angry all at the same time. With all these emotions occurring at once, the teen doesn't know where or who to turn to for help. With the emotional rollercoaster the teen is experiencing, their grades begin to drop and their behavior begins to change.

Approaching a teenager who seems frazzled, needs to be done in a supportive and non-threatening manner. The teen feels ashamed and has not learned how to handle this situation and needs guidance. Never speak down to your teenager and don't over step the boundaries. Making your teenager aware that things happen in life which we can't predict and you are around to support them is important.

How to treat teenage depression?

Treatments for Teenage Depression

Similar to adult depression, teenage depression is treated with a combination of therapy and medication. Below are a few approaches which have been proven to help teens suffering from depression.

• Cognitive behavioral therapy: The therapists discusses the teens problems and then begins to work together to change the negative thinking.

• Group Therapy: For teens, this can be a helpful coping approach as it shows they are not alone combating their feelings of depression.

• Physical exercise: Exercise is a helpful tool since it creates more endorphins and serotonin to be delivered to the brain. These two chemicals allow the brain chemistry to change and bring more oxygen to the body to help lift the teen's depression.

• Expressing creativity: This can be accomplished through acting, creating art, or music. All of these activities are a great outlet for teens to communicate allowing their emotions to be used toward creating a totally new concept or character.

• Medication: There are many prescription drugs for depression but not all should be used for teenage depression. Always research and see a therapist who specializes in teen depression and understands how their chemical make up is affected by medication.

How teens can support their friend suffering from depression

Losing Friends from Teenage Depression

The teenage years are difficult for many but for a teen with depression, it becomes even harder. Between the hormone changes, the social class changes, and meeting new people; a teen can be overwhelmed with all the significant changes occurring in their life.

Moving from a small elementary school to a larger middle school can bring anxiety for some teens. Childhood friendships may begin to expand out to new friends and relationships change. For a depressed teen, instead of going with the change, they may shut themselves off to it and not participate in activities they once enjoyed.

For example, some teenagers who are depressed will begin to show low energy and no desire to hang out with their friends. The friends perceive this as the teen giving them an attitude or being moody and wait for it to pass so their friendship can resume. Many times this episode doesn't pass and the friendship begins to unravel and eventually is ended.

Teenagers who do not suffer from depression can learn the signs and symptoms to help their friends or at least become aware of the illness. The more teenagers are aware that depression can occur at their age, the more they can help and prevent tragedies from occurring. Being supportive, caring, and loving goes a long way when a teenage peer is aware of a friend's situation.

Why depressed teenagers should not use substances

Substances and Teenage Depression

When a teenager begins to not feel right mentally, emotionally, or physically, the last thing many want to do is speak to a parent or adult. Some teens confide in a friend but even this become risky as the teen does not want their personal life broadcasted throughout the entire school.

Unfortunately, when a teenager does not feel they have anyone to speak to about what they are feeling, they sometimes turn to alcohol or drugs. Instead of visiting a therapist to get an official diagnosis and a prescription medication for depression, they self-medicate with the use of recreational drugs and alcohol.

If a teenager is feeling lost and sadness, using a substance makes them feel better, or so they think. What occurs in the body are the chemicals and brain chemistry all begin to change, allowing the teen to feel some relief. The problem with using substances is they are illegal and the teen does not have self control. Once the body begins to get use to the substance, the teen begins to take more of the drug or alcohol and can end up badly hurting themselves.

Self-medicating is not an option and the depressed teenager needs to be brought to a professional therapist.

How serious is depression?

Depression IS More Common Than People Think.

Did you know: 1 in 5 Americans in the country suffer from some form of depression. The APA reports worldwide depression is growing many times faster than AIDS.

What are some ways to break the distancing cycle?

How Parents Can Help Break the Distancing Cycle

If your teenager has been distancing themselves and the amount of time has lasted for a few weeks to a few months, there are some ways to try and help break your teenager out of their depression. These are suggestions to try to get your teenager to speak with you, not cure their depression.

1) When your teenager speaks to you, listen to their words and respond. The hardest thing for teenagers who are going through physical and emotional changes is to have no one to trust and be able to communicate with. Giving your teenager your full attention will show you love and support them.

2) Try listening to their music. Besides spending quality time with your teenager, it shows you are open and acceptable of their choices.

3) When your teenager approaches you with a problem, don't solve it for them. Allowing your teenager to speak their mind and share their feelings with you is a sign they need your support. Giving advice and opinions that were not asked for will turn your teenager off from future conversations.

4) If your teenager screams at you to leave them alone, a parent should realize this is a test. The depressed teenager needs support and by saying harsh words is their way of seeking answers from you.

If you suspect your teenager is depressed, always seek the professional help of a therapist. The suggestions above are to try and allow your teenager to open up and break the cycle of withdrawing themselves from you.

What are some signs of a distancing teenager?

Signs of a teenager distancing from their parents

For most parents, the typical behavior and mood swings of a teenager can be confusing. Between their hormones racing, their social life changing, and trying to find themselves; when a teenager distances themselves from a parent, is this considered a sign of depression?

The answer is yes. When a teenage child begins to withdraw from their parents mentally, emotionally, and physically, this can be one of the many signs of teenage depression. A sudden decision to not want to participate in activities they once loved can occur from many factors.

• Hormonal and physical changes of the body

• Stress

• Genetics

Distinguishing between typical teenage moodiness usually caused by hormonal changes and depression is the first step. An example of moodiness caused by a hormonal change would be for young girls around their period. Obviously if the moods and distance seems to occur in a cycle, this would not be a sign of depression. If the moods and distancing doesn't go away and stays around for a significant amount of weeks, then consider bringing the teenager to a therapist. Make an effort to record the amount of time you have observed your teenager's behavior change as the therapists will ask you this question.

If you suspect your teenager is depressed, parents should respond in a gentle, loving, supportive manner. Let your teenager know that you are available whenever they need you and do not ask a lot of questions. Teenagers do not like to be questioned constantly; just make sure to let them realize you will not criticize them and are they for support.

What are triggers of teenage depression?

Triggers of Teenage Depression

There are many triggers that can cause depression at a young age, which is why teenage depression is so difficult to diagnose. Each teen is different and one trigger which may cause a teenager to become depressed may not happen in another teen.

Many times, a major event in the teenager's life can cause the teen to become depressed. For most teens, any significant change in their life can cause a depression to occur. A parent's divorce, moving to a new area, a death of a family member or close friend, a break up with a girlfriend or boyfriend, or being bullied all can be triggers. When a teenager is neglected for a long period of time by a parent or guardian, this also can trigger a depression.

Some medical sicknesses can also cause a depression like hypothyroidism. Since the thyroid is the organ which controls the hormone balance in our bodies, if it is not working properly, a teenager's mood can be affected. When the hormones aren't properly being distributed, physical symptoms occur and depression will be triggered.

A teenager not getting the proper nutrition can also trigger depression. If their body is not receiving enough vitamins and amino acids, the body reacts by causing the teen to become depressed. Always consult a therapist or physicians before treating a teen for depression.

Why should I worry about myself is someone I am close with suffers depression?

Being Intimately Involved With A Depression Sufferer Puts You AT Risk.

In a sense, depression can be no different than the common cold. Part of the reason is the dynamics of the victim/caretaker(aka helper) relationship.

Why should I worry about myself is someone I am close with suffers depression?

Being Intimately Involved With A Depression Sufferer Puts You AT Risk.

In a sense, depression can be no different than the common cold. Part of the reason is the dynamics of the victim/caretaker(aka helper) relationship.

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Tammi Reynolds