5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Child With Depression

5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Child With Depression

By Daniela McVicker from NAMI

5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Child With Depression

As a parent, you need to be prepared for dealing with problems—big and small. That includes taking care of your child’s mental health. It’s important to step up when things get serious.

Teen depression is not as rare as we’d like it to be. In fact, a 2016 study shows that 12.8% of US adolescents had at least one major depressive episode.

If you suspect your child might be experiencing depression, here are some steps you can take.

Learn How To Recognize Warning Signs

Teenagers go through various phases. There’s often a lot of mood swings and emotional episodes that comes with adolescence, and it can be hard to know when their behavior is a part of growing up and when it’s more serious. The first step towards helping your child battle depression is to learn how to spot it. Become familiar with the warning signs.

  • Low self-esteem
  • Withdrawal
  • Lack of interest
  • Hopelessness
  • Academic success deterioration
  • Drastic changes in eating habits (too little or too much)
  • Feeling guilty and ashamed
  • Lack of energy and motivation
  • Fatigue and aches
  • Thoughts of suicide and death

If your child is experiencing one or a combination of these symptoms, they may need professional help.

 


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 NEXT  STEPS…

Share your story with the community. Click here to contact us about doing a SETH TALK.

Interested in becoming a guest writer for Seth’s Mom. Click here to contact us.

 


External Resources

Mayo Clinic

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You have depression. So what. We all get depressed sometimes.

You have depression. So what. We all get depressed sometimes.

You have depression… and??

The crippling effects of depression are sometimes misunderstood. Being depressed or sad is not unusual; it’s actually quite normal. Life is made of happy moments like the birth of a child, and also sad moments like the death of a parent. These are the ebbs and flows of existence. We all experience joy and sadness. Whether good or bad, these moments pass.

What makes your depression different from mine

The main difference is between “being” and “having.” You can be sad, or even depressed, not have major depression. The Mayo Clinic describes the condition the following way

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living. More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn’t a weakness and you can’t simply “snap out” of it. Depression may require long-term treatment.

Having clinical (or major) depression is sometimes not related to any particular event. Someone with depression may have no idea why they feel the way they do. What they know is that they feel a deep, life altering sadness that can sometimes lead to an obsession about death and thoughts of suicide. They may not be able to care for themselves and stop bathing. They may not be able to sleep and stay awake for days on end. They may lose all interest in outside activities and want to stay in the bed and sleep for days. It can be a terrible struggle.

Treatment and support

Clinical depression is treatable. Talk therapy and medication can be used to treat the disorder and help gain an understanding of how the environment impacts or triggers depression. The Mayo Clinic suggests the following strategies to help prevent depression

  • Take steps to control stress, to increase your resilience and boost your self-esteem
  • Reach out to family and friends, especially in times of crisis, to help you weather rough spells
  • Get treatment at the earliest sign of a problem to help prevent depression from worsening
  • Consider getting long-term maintenance treatment to help prevent a relapse of symptoms

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

Continue the conversation

Contact Us to share your story about depression in a SETH TALK


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NEXT  STEPS…

Share your story with the community. Click here to contact us about doing a SETH TALK.

Interested in becoming a guest writer for Seth’s Mom. Click here to contact us.

 


External Resources

Administration for Community Living

Pathfinders for Autism

Disability Scoop

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Center for PTSD