Recognize it! Help it!
Author: Emmi Dunn
Depression, why is it a problem?
Depression is the feeling of sadness, frustration, and hopelessness. Usually, it is accompanied by the loss of happiness or pleasure. With depression comes a decrease in appetite, sleep, energy levels, and the ability to concentrate. A great majority of adolescents go through depression, nearly twenty percent of adolescents have experienced this. It is doubly common in females than males. Depression can negatively affect social and academic life.
Is it really depression?
Depression is often times genetic. Some genes contain transmitters that carry negative emotion! Besides genetics there are more symptoms of depression. If an adolescent is experiences extreme fatigue and energy loss, that is a symptom of depression. Difficulty concentrating, remembering things, and making rational decisions. If a teenager is feeling guilty about things, and feeling very pessimistic for long periods of time, keep depression in mind. A loss of hobbies and interests is largely related to depression as well. For example, if a teenager has been playing soccer their whole life and they suddenly lose their desire to play for no apparent reason, it could possibly be relatable to adolescent depression.
DON'T OVERLOOK IT!
Parents often times think of depression as just a "phase" that their adolescent is going through. They think that every teen goes through ups and downs, so they fail to realize the severity of the situation! Pay attention and do not overlook!
How can you help?
A parent is able to have an unbelievable influence on their child, especially during adolescent years. It is important for a parent to form a strong parent to child relationship. This can be done by simply cutting time out of your schedule for your adolescent each day. It is very important for your child to feel like a priority in the lives of their parents. When you make time to talk to them, don't just talk, listen! Adolescence go though a lot of stress, sometimes they just need someone to listen! Encourage your teenager to share their feelings, emotions, and experiences. Find out what they are interested in! Invest in their life, and be intentional about learning about what upsets them, frustrates them, and excites them. Praise their awards and achievements and encourage them during a short coming! Take notice if your child is taking part in any kind of social group (team, church group, school group), and ask them about how it is going! Most importantly, just take a genuine interest in how their life is going. You may be surprised at how much of a difference that will make in your child's life!
- Berk, Laura E. "Emotional and Social Development in Adolescence."Development through the Lifespan. 5th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2010. 421-22. Print.
- Hoecker, Jay L. "Teenage Depression: Prevention Begins with Parental Support." Mayoclinic. N.p., 15 Sept. 2012. Web. 31 Oct. 2014.
- Goldberg, Joseph. "Depression Symptoms, Warning Signs, Types, and Complications." WebMD. WebMD, 21 Aug. 2014. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.