With adolescent depression on the rise, it’s no wonder so many parents are worrying and wondering if their child is suffering from depression or anxiety. The things teens believe about themselves, and how they view the world, are paramount to their development and recovery from worry, despair, trauma, bad relationships, and other issues they face on a daily basis.
Here are four critical components crucial for determining good mental health for teenagers:
- How they think
- How they develop
- How they relate to others
- How they handle tough challenges
Teenagers who experience anxiety and depression may believe the stress and sadness they feel will never go away. Depression and anxiety can be all consuming, but treatment and recovery are possible.
If your child is suffering, know with therapy and help teens are able to heal and recover. Change is always possible. When it comes to promoting mental awareness, young people, much like adults, shouldn’t be afraid to seek help for mental health issues.
Anxiety & Depression 101
When a mental health disorder is left untreated, symptoms can build and spiral out of control. Anxiety is the number one reported illness most young adults experience, and it starts early.
When puberty hits, hormones take over, social life and academics become more demanding and stressful, and the combination can dramatically affect any teenager’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Learning difficulties can also cause problems for teenage students, especially when certain subject areas become more complicated.
Teenagers can get caught in a web of apprehension and despair – being afraid to fail, or wanting to fit in while constantly worrying about being rejected. They can start to withdraw or feel that they will never be good enough. Rather than turning to a trusted adult for advice, teens may try to find their own way to cope — they may even refuse their parents’ help if it is offered.
The Quest for Certainty
Teenagers want to be assured by those they love that everything will turn out all right. Parents who want to guide their teenagers should consider talking with their teens about the unpredictability of life, while reassuring them that they will always be there for them regardless of the ups and downs.
While a quest for certainty is understandable, life is rarely ever certain. Parents can help teens understand that while events in life aren’t always certain or even fair, it’s okay (healthy even) to be frustrated or upset when things don’t go their way, and that in time they can grow and they can get through the hard moments to be stronger in the end.
How Parents Can Help
The first thing a parent can do is pay attention. Pay attention to how your child is acting, reacting, and feeling. Notice also how your child and the family as a whole handle mistakes and failure. If a parent has trouble dealing with his or her own mistakes, a teenager will learn that behavior, and often will mimic those same tendencies themselves.
Parents can explore their own mistakes, and then talk to their kids about some of the pitfalls they’ve experienced in their lives and how they have learned from them. Mistakes happen. No one is perfect. Every child (and parent) should know that.
There is a time to push your kids, and a time to step back and allow them to learn on their own. Parents have to find that balance between when to push and when to step aside. In the end, it’s important to let your teenager know that you’ll be there for them no matter what.
When In Doubt, Consult Your Physician
If your child is exhibiting worrying behaviors, if they confide they feel sad or angry or anxious, or if you notice a marked change in weight or eating or they are sleeping too little or too much, don’t hesitate to talk to your teens’ doctor about your concerns.
While it’s important to discuss your child’s feelings with him or her, and what’s going on for them in school and at home, don’t hesitate to consult your doctor as well. They may want to screen your teenager, and in the course of doing so may recommend counseling or exploring a medication. Trained physicians can help you choose the best path for your teen, and you.
It can be heartbreaking and scary to witness your child experience anxiety and depression. There is help, and there is hope. Treatment and recovery are possible for anyone experiencing anxiety and depression, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help for you or your child.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery.
Call us today for information: 866-855-4202