Depressed teen in bed looking at her phone

What’s Got You Down? Depression in Today’s Teens

You probably noticed that around the age of 12, your child became moody, temperamental, rebellious, and wanted to spend more time alone in their room. Adolescence is always a trying time for parents and for their kids! It’s perfectly normal for kids this age to feel a bit down from time to time, but what happens if your once happy-go-lucky teen is now down-in-the-dumps-Debbie?

Think back to a recent time when your teen asked what was for dinner. Did they overreact and get upset when they found out it was something that they didn’t like? Now think to a time when they were looking for a shirt to wear for school. Even though they had 12 shirts hung up in their closet, did they break down and overreact because their favorite shirt wasn’t ready to wear? Teens tend to overreact and get dramatic over little things – it’s just in their nature at that age. Teens also get stressed out easily and stressors at school, things going on with their friends, breakups with boyfriends, failing a test, can all weigh on their shoulders heavily and send some teens into a downward tailspin.

How do you know if your teen is showing typical teen behavior or if they are showing signs of a more serious problem, like depression? When their behavior and moods stop them from living a normal life on a daily basis, that’s when you know it’s a problem and it’s time to seek some help. There are ways that teens can effectively deal with their moods, so it doesn’t turn into depression and take a lifelong toll on them. We’re going to share with you some tips that they can use to try and ease them out of the funk they are in and assist them in accepting themselves and their situation.

Make sure they talk to a trusted adult.

Sometimes just venting your problems to a trusted person can be enough to put the situation in perspective or help a teen realize that what they thought was a terrible situation isn’t actually all that bad. A teen may feel they can be more open about themselves with an adult that is not their parent so don’t take offense if they open up to an aunt or grandparent.

teen playing basketballEncourage them to make new friends.

The people your teen hangs out with are either going to build them up or tear them down. Make sure they are surrounding themselves with people that help them be a better person. Positive relationships can improve a teens self-esteem and provide them with a better sense of who they are and what they have to offer the world.

Foster the love of hobbies, sports, and other organizational activities.

Teams help instill a sense of pride, accomplishment, and drive in our teens. Whether they join a soccer team, cheerleading squad, or a church group, they will have a sense of belonging and a group of other people counting on them to show up and contribute. Having a strong feeling of self-worth helps to combat depression because you feel like what you do and who you are matters to the world.

Depression is an illness and should be taken serious at any age. If your teen struggles with depression and doesn’t seek treatment, it can worsen to the point of being life-threatening. Therapy can be extremely beneficial and can help discover why your teen is depressed. If your child struggles with depression, a therapist can teach them how to deal with stressful situations, so they have the tools to deal with them. Sometimes, if a teen is in a deep depression or struggling really bad with anxiety, medications may be prescribed. That is nothing to be ashamed of. Just as some people have to take medication for high blood pressure, some need to take medication for depression. The important thing is that your teen gets the help they need.

Teens struggle with enough things, school shouldn’t be one of them. If you have a child in 5-12th grade that fell behind and is feeling there is no way out, we’re here to say that there is! My Virtual Academy helps students every day realize their dreams of graduating high school. Students that join our tuition-free program learn from the comfort of their own home, at a pace that is just right for them. They have flexibility in choosing what time of day they wish to do their schooling and they have access to lessons 24/7, so the choice really is theirs. If you feel that your teen would thrive in this type of program, please give us a call at 800.297.2119 or visit our website. Hope to hear from you soon!

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