Teenagers are more prone to depression and anxiety in today’s society. Since, they are being brought up in a complex environment where they have access to a lot of stuff that teenagers before them didn’t. This raises restlessness in them causing them to be in a constant whirl of their own curiosities and uncertainties.
Depression and anxiety are a serious threat to the mental health of any individual. And when it comes to teenagers, their minds are more fragile which can be easily affected. It may leave an impact to the whole life of your teenager. The signs of depression are notable. The irritable and unhappy teens are a walking manifestation of teen depression.
However, teen depression is treatable in its early stages. As lethal as it is, it isn’t incurable. If the unhappiness of a teen around you lasts more than two weeks, you should be forewarned.
Teenagers around the World Are Facing Depression
Depression is a worldwide problem in teens, especially in Europe and America. In a survey set in America, anxiety and depression were found to be the major problem in teens as addressed by them. The rate of depression has been increasing rapidly every year from 2005 and as a result, there is an increased suicide rate in the societies. Countries like India, China, Brazil, Bangladesh, Ireland, Sweden, Estonia, and Malta are also rated as top countries with teen depression.
Reasons for Teen Depression
There are a plethora of reasons impacting the teen’s mental health towards depression. When they are going through puberty it makes them unstable. So, anything could trigger their sadness and could stick around leading them towards chronic depression.
For example, a teen is likely to develop feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness over their school grades and performance, sexual orientation, social status among peers, or family life. Each one of these can greatly affect how a teen feels. Other causes of depression could be, environmental stress, bullying, and social media.
However, whatever the cause may be when family or friends or anything that used to make them feel joy doesn’t help them anymore to improve his or her sense of isolation or sadness, the teens become more vulnerable, which could eventually lead them to depression.
How to Help a Depressed Teen
If you suspect that you have a depressed teen around you, show concern to him/her in a non-judgmental, loving way. Despite being uncertain of depression being the issue, you should talk to your teen. Troublesome behavior is obviously an indication of an unaddressed problem.
Encourage them to share whatever they’re going through. And do not panic to whatever response comes you way. Refrain from patronizing the teen with a lot of questions, but ensure him/her that you’re there to support them through everything.
Make sure when you talk to a depressed teenage you listen to their concern instead of lecturing them. When the teenage starts talking to you resist from criticizing or passing judgment on them, it’s not easy to bring them to talk. Sticking around fully and unconditionally is the best thing you can do for an individual going through a phase of depression. Our society needs to stop stigmatizing depression and other mental issues.
Be persistent and don’t give up if they’re unwilling to talk with you at first. Keep on gently making attempts to talking about the tough time the teen in going through. You have to understand that they won’t immediately open up even if they want to. Emphasize your concern and show your willingness to listen. This would make them comfortable enough.
Acknowledge their feelings. Even if their feelings seem silly to you, if you think it isn’t something one should be depressed about. Don’t let the individual know. Do not tell them to look on the bright side and how many other good things they’re being ungrateful for. This would only irritate them more and would make them think that you aren’t taking their problem seriously. Understand and support them. Let them know you’re there for them. And acknowledge their sadness.
How Can a Teen Alleviate Depression by Himself
Depression makes individuals feel more inclined towards staying alone. But go against that feeling and socialize as much as you can. Do not isolate yourself in any case. You would feel like curling up into your shell. Not feel like talking to anyone. Stay in bed all day. Nothing motivates you to get out of your bed in the morning. It would be hard to defy that feeling. However, facilitating it would make it even more worst. So, even if you have to push yourself to socialize, then that’s what you’ll do. As you start socializing with people, you would instantly feel better.
Spending time in face-to-face interactions is the most preferable thing to do. Because the interactions you do on social media only relief you temporarily. And the relationships formed are not reliable. Also, you would start comparing your happiness with the exaggerated version of your friend’s happiness. Which would only make things worse?
So stay off the internet as much as possible. Most importantly, the interactions you make should be with the friends who make you feel good about yourself and the ones who understand you and your feelings.
Other things you can do are getting involved in activities you enjoy. Do voluntary work, help others and feel reconnected with them and the world. It has the power to eradicate antidepressants from your life. You can also go for running. It gives you a “runner’s high”. When you exercise, endorphins rush in your body making you instantly feel happier.
These physical activities can turn out to be as effective as any therapy or medication for depression. So do, whatever little exercise that suits you be it running, riding your bike, taking a dance class or even gym.
No matter how depressed you’re feeling keep yourself away from alcohol and drugs. When you’re depressed you’re up for anything that would allow you to escape your feelings but you must avoid the temptation. Because these would only boost your mood for a short time and as soon as the effect lowers you’d be depressed again. It only makes life worse and puts suicidal thoughts in your head. So if you want to help depressed people don’t pity them, listen to them and support them. Even the smallest kind gesture might put in positive thoughts in their head. And they might rebuild their life based on it. And if you yourself are the depressed one, keep your spirit to get out of bed up. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and get in charge of your life. That’s what would keep you lively in the long run!