Depression can feel overwhelming and isolating, and those who suffer from it often feel like nobody understands what they’re going through. It can be especially challenging for teenagers, but they’ll have an easier time if their parents show empathy for their situation. If your teen is depressed, try doing the following things to show them you care and want to help.
Spend Time With Your Teen
Although you may think your teen isn’t interested, spending time with your teen is actually a great way to show them you care. For instance, a Pennsylvania State University study found that teens who spent quality time with their fathers gained more self-esteem as a result. Going out for ice cream, taking a walk, running errands or watching a movie together are just a few enjoyable ways that you can spend time with your teen and show them that they’re a top priority in your life.
Listen to Your Teen
Image Credit: Freestocks.org
When you and your teen have a conversion, do you listen as much as you talk? Many teens want to be able to talk to their parents about personal issues like relationships, school or their depression, but feel as though their parents will lecture them instead of listen to their problems. When you’re with your teen, take a moment to truly listen to what they have to say without interrupting, and wait until they’ve finished talking before asking if they’d like your advice or if they just needed to rant.
Engage in Small Acts of Kindness
Sometimes the little things can mean the most. Simple gestures like leaving your teen an encouraging note on the counter for when they get home from school, making them a cup of hot chocolate or tea when they’re having a bad day or sharing a funny video that you know will make them laugh can be enough to let your teen know that you care about their well-being.
Involve Them in Family Activities
Image Credit: Katie Montgomery
Many depressed teens feel isolated due to their depression. Make sure you invite them to participate in activities such as meals, game night and even grocery shopping. Even if your teen declines your offer, they will appreciate that you cared enough about them to invite them.
Get Help for Your Teen
Depression is a real illness that requires medical attention, but often teens feel too afraid or ashamed to ask for the help they need. While some teens can recover from depression with the help of a family doctor, others need treatment that’s much more involved to help them recover from their depression. An inpatient treatment program can help teens who are struggling with serious mental issues like depression by providing compassionate care that leads to confidence and recovery.
If your teen is suffering from depression, they’re probably feeling scared and lonely. By showing them that you care, you can open the lines of communication so you can help them get the help they need.
Contact Newport Academy to see if inpatient treatment could be the right choice for your teen.
Feature Image: Brynna Spencer