How to Talk to a Teen About Depression
Depression is a real issue in the world that affects many people at all ages children and teens may not know how to handle depression as well as some and as such it is often necessary to talk to a teen about depression to make sure that they know what to do and that there is help for them out there.
Depression can be a hard and uncomfortable topic to talk about for many teenagers suffering from it, and they may try to shut you out or get away from you if you bring it up, making it hard for you to get through to them. However you should remember that you shouldn’t give up on helping them if they don’t want to talk at first. Just continue to make sure that they know you are there and you care about them through everything, and that you won’t be giving up on them. Keep offering support and be there for them to talk to if they ever wish to open up. Don’t criticize them for their depression, but instead listen to them and get them to tell you everything without judging them.
Instead of trying to say things like “you don’t have anything to worry about, things will be better” and the like instead make sure that you keep their feelings and thoughts in mind, make sure that they know you think they are important and take everything they say seriously. While talking with your teen you should remember to talk to them about the possible treatments for depression and what can be done in order to help them heal from the depression.
Talking with your teen about going to the doctor in order to see what help can be given there is always a good choice as well as telling them about any possible therapy programs that deal with depression, no matter how serious it may be, tell them that there are groups out there to support teens with depression and that they are not alone with their problems, there are people all over that come together in order to help that have lived with the same problems and have been making it through them or have made it through them completely.
Growing up I personally suffered from depression, and I know the toll that depression can have on a child or teen growing up since I have been fighting with depression for the better part of 10 years now. Only recently at the age of 21 have I started to get past some of the causes of my depression due to finally finding the right help. I can say without a doubt that if I had had the helpful people I have around me now back then when I was growing up I wouldn’t have had near as much trouble with depression, instead I had family that would say things like depression isn’t an illness, or suicidal thoughts mean you are weak. Things like that can destroy a teen’s self image and instead of helping them it can make their depression so much worse and make it so much harder for them to get through it safely. Showing appropriate concern and support for your teen and actually being there for them instead of insisting that one medicine is all it will take to help them will make the difference between life and death in some situations.
When I was severely depressed I was constantly dealing with suicidal thoughts driving me to the edge and causing me to break down or panic. Having a friend there for me that knew what I was going through made all the difference and allowed me to keep going long enough to find the help that I desperately needed in order to start recovering from depression. If as family you are there for your teen and actively take a role in helping them you can make all the difference in the healing process, and coming from someone that they love, that support will mean so much more than any medicine or therapist.