Mental health or we can say depression or anxiety has become common in today’s time. Specifically, teenage- high school-going children are found to be more victims of depression.
A fast-growing and competitive world leads to depression and anxiety.
If you have a teenage child you might understand that unknown silence between you and your ward when you try to communicate. Avoidance of face-to-face to talk, be on phones all the time, asking for privacy every time. These are characteristics of teenagers that we all know. But sometimes these same characteristics might be symptoms of depression. Sometimes these kinds of mood swings lead you to wonder if they are just teenagers or they are struggling with some mental health problems. Let’s look at some serious symptoms of depression, you may notice as a parent, teacher, or guardian.
Let’s see some of the symptoms of depression. You may see them in your teenage child.
Symptoms of depression
- Want to be alone all the time.
- Not talk much.
- Less interest in spending time with friends and family
- Lack of energy.
- Fatigue and lethargy
- No interest in regular activities.
- Irregularity in study and school.
- Dropping the academic performance.
- Less or no participation in other activities.
- Seems fed and depressed.
- Negative conversations
- Angry nature.
- Sleeping problem.
- Frequent change in moods.
- Poor concentration
- Thought of harming oneself
- Feeling of Sadness and worthlessness.
If you can see or observe such a type of behavioral change in your ward or in your students. You must have to talk to him/her. I know that they may be denied to talk or show no interest in your conversation. But these symptoms show that it is high time that you have to take care of your teenage child. Help him/her to come out of the situation he/she is facing.
Here are some ways and approaches to offer gentle support to your child.
approaches to offer gentle support to your child to deal with depression.
- Keep asking.
- Always be a good listener.
- Consult a doctor
- Arrange a trip or picnic.
- Listen to music
- Have a healthy Diet
- Blissful weekend
- Engage yourself in sports-do at least twice a week
- Solve your problems step by step
- Medication and meditation
Depression has many treatments. And treatment comes in a number of forms. But as a parent or teacher, your duty is, to make the outcome long term, not short term. So instead of only depending on medication or psychology therapy, you also can adopt some approaches in the day to day life. Which gives you long-term results.
I have mentioned some of the ways above. Let’s see the ways or approaches in detail. How would you use them in your day-to-day life to get better results?
1. Keep asking :
The communication gap with your ward is the main draw back . As parents, you should act like a friend to your teenage child. So that he/she can easily talk with you and can share his/her feelings with you. But if so not, then as parents it’s your duty to find out why your child seems depressed. If you find above mentioned suggested symptoms in your teenage child, keep asking him/her like,
- What happened to you ? Why are you behaving so strange ?
- I am worried and concerned about you because I can see your less interest in study and other work. Why so ?
- Further,I have noticed that you get very angry quickly. And also sleep very late.
- Why haven’t you spent much time neither with your friends nor with us ?
You also can ask some open-ended questions like:
- Can you please explain what things are bothering you ?
- What makes you feel this way ?
- Are there any problems in your school or with your friends?
- Why do you feel so low ?
Such type questions make him/her feel that he/she is not alone. His/her parents are there for him/her. Maybe a child bursts out and can share his/her feelings. Or problems he/she is facing.
This little effort of communication leads to building a good and strong bridge of relationship with you and with your child. So keep talking and asking him/her about what’s going on in his/her life. Try to make him/her comfortable and confident.
2. Always be a good listener :
As a guardian, parent, or teacher of a teenage child, your most important responsibility is to listen to him/her. Do not ignore your child. Sit, talk and listen to them calmly and carefully.
Wrap your every scheduled work or else ensure your child that I will be joined after 30 or 35 minutes after wrapping my work. Sometimes they can feel a burden to involve their loved ones in such a painful situation. Or else you can avoid or hesitate to talk about the problems. What is your role in such a situation?
Your role in such a situation–as a parent.
- Be calm and campose . Listen to them.
- Give them your full attention.
- Avoid interruption in between.
- Let them finish what he/she is saying?
- Make them comfortable to share the pain or situation they are going through.
- Avoid asking questions in between.
- Don’t be rude or arrogant. Be polite and humble with them while talking.
- To avoid saying such things like :I had also been in such situations when I was at your age. It’s not a big deal. “Everyone feels so” .
- Instead of console him/her with positive feedback like.“I am with you,Don’t worry”.
- “You will be fine soon”. Family and I are here to support you.Don’t hesitate to talk, I am also there for you.”
These kinds of sentences make him/her comfortable as well as confident to deal with the problem or pain he/she is going through.
So, be a good listener. Make your teenager feel comfortable and confident.
3. Consult a doctor for depression :
You can’t cure yourself alone of depression or mental health illness. You need support from an expert and licensed psychological therapist. Who can guide you and help you? Can help you to find out relife for your problems and prevent future recurrence.
Counseling and medicines are the first steps to cure yourself of depression.
4.Arrange a trip or picnic:
here is a therapy called Ecotherapy or nature therapy. Ecotherapy is a model of therapy that is built around spending more time with nature. Spending time outside with nature is one of the best ways to make yourself feel more calm and composed.
You also can plan such a trip or picnic with nature for your teenage child. So that he/she can feel fresh. And at the same time can able to give some time for him/herself. Further, he/she can feel positive about nature and its surroundings.
So I, as a person and teacher, suggest planning such ecotherapy sessions for your teenage child. Not only does it help to cure the symptoms of depression but also the person can feel Rejuvenation.
Even instead of going on a trip, you can have a small walk with nature with your teenage child. And even little exercise, running under the open sky and over the green grass. Help shi/her feel better and can deal easily with nature.
So these little efforts can really help your child to overcome depression.
5.Listen to music to cure depression:
Listening to music can again be one of the best therapies to deal with anxiety or depression. Cool and soothing music helps to calm yourself down. It can help to stop negative thinking. boost positivity in one’s life. Music therapy can help to have better sleep. Which indeed while one is passing through such a bad trauma of anxiety or depression.
So make your child listen to good and soothing music.
6. Have a healthy Diet to deal depression :
A healthy mind lives in a healthy body. This is an absolutely true saying. To keep your mind healthy you first need to have a healthy body. For that, you have to develop healthy eating habits. As parents, it is your most important duty to develop healthy eating habits in your teenage child. As we can see in today’s time, teenage children are always fond of eating junk food. But remember the better you eat, the better you feel.
Even this is the very sensitive age where your teenage child may become addicted to some alcohol or cigarette habits. So, it is your responsibility to make your child understand what is right or wrong for him/her. Learn to say NO. It is necessary to teach them to say No to the things which they do not want to do. These also can be considered as one of the healthy habits. Away from any types of drugs also helps to make your body healthy.
Give your child proper breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Make sure you provide a balanced diet to him/her/ . A proper meal or balanced diet is one of the key ingredients to feel better or to live a healthy life. Nuts, leafy vegetables, fruits, pulses, milk, grains play a vital role in making your meal balanced and proper. Serve them all the nutrients in a day in an adequate amount.
If you feel your child is undergoing some anxiety or depression. Do check and change his/her eating habits. Which can show a significant positive change in your child. It can help to cure depression.
7. Blissful weekend :
A healthy and happy weekend also helps to get rid of anxiety or depression. Plan your weekend with your teenage child and family. Arrange some activities where the whole family can take part and enjoy the time. Which helps your child to feel better and happy. He/she may share his/her feelings with you. You can find ways during the weekend and help your child in a way.
You can arrange some adventurous activities, have a happy dinner with family, plan me time, plan a movie night with the family. These activities may help your child to deal with depression. He/she may feel happy. Be positive towards life and find solutions or cures for depression.
So it is my earnest request to all parents out there to plan such a blissful weekend for your ward. Don’t wait for any anxiety attack or symptoms of depression in your child. But plan just for your kids to give them joy and happiness. Who may not share with you but he/she may be facing some stress or anxiety. So such a blissful weekend may help them to feel happy, comfortable and enjoy the time.
8.Engage your child in sports or exercise -do at least twice a week :
Sports is an activity which not only makes your body fit but also keeps your mind fit and healthy. Doing sports daily or twice a week develops so many healthy habits in your child. Most importantly it teaches discipline, discipline in life, and self disciplines.
Sports and exercises are beneficial to deal with mild to moderate depression. When you do any sports or exercise it releases
Chemical called endorphins. Endorphins help to diminish the perception of pain.
Regular exercise helps reduce stress, boost up your self-esteem, and cure feelings of anxiety and depression.
Doing sports regularly or twice a week keeps you busy and gives you inner happiness and strength. Doing your favorite sports helps you to think positively and make you feel better. Can help to reduce the pain of anxiety and depression.
Doing sports or exercise can help you to get better sleep. Sound, pleasant and adequate Sleep again is very important to reduce stress and depression.
So as we can see sports or doing exercise not only helps you to reduce stress but also boost up many positive attributes in your teenage years. These attributes and traits are very essential to live a healthy life. To develop and motivate them to develop the habit of doing sports or exercise in daily routine life.
9. Solve your problems step by step :
Any problems can not be cured immediately or in any hurry.
But to cure the problem you need to be calm, compose and think and plan. As you know very well the age in which your child is very sensitive years of his/her life. Any impromptu decision or remedy can lead to more depression or stress in your child.
So, when you observe mentioned symptoms in your ward. Try to find out the remedies step by step. Like..
- Talk with him/her.
- Provide a healthy atmosphere . And build healthy support and relationships.
- Take advice from a doctor or an expert.
- Do or plan the activities which your child can find interesting.
- Be your child’s friend.
So parents or teachers plan step by step strategies to reduce stress or depression.
10. Medication and meditation:
As I earlier stated, a doctor or expert consultation is a must. Give medicines prescribed by a doctor regularly with implementing the above-mentioned methods. Along with medicines, arrange therapy classes with an expert to cure a better way. So medication is indeed needed along with other ways to cure stress, anxiety, and depression.
With medication, meditation can also be beneficial to prevent depression. Doing yoga regularly cures your teenage and provides a peaceful mindset. By doing yoga and meditation he can feel calm, have peace around, and reduce his/her stress level. Practicing meditation daily brings lasting stress relief in one’s life. There are some meditation types you can implement in your life to reduce stress or depression. Like
- Mindfulness meditation
- Music meditation
- Bath meditation
- Body scan meditation
- Walking meditation
- Mantra japa meditation
- Aromatherapy etc.
All these meditations may be beneficial to your child to prevent symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Depression or anxiety is not a disease but it is a feeling of a person who is going through a painful, stressful condition. Handle the situation with care and cure them with love. As a teacher, I suggest you spend quality time with your young children. Provide them with a healthy family atmosphere. Be their support system and build a healthy relationship with them.
I assure you that if you use the above-mentioned ways in your life, It will definitely be beneficial to your teenage child to deal with stress, anxiety, or depression. Do try these at your home and share your views. You also can share your story here. So that everyone here can be beneficial from your experiences.
You also can read the following articles to nurture your tiny tots well. Can develop many healthy habits and manners in your child from childhood. As if you nurture a child from childhood he/she definitely be a good person. Also, enjoy teenage life well with all these good manners and healthy habits. It helps your child to get a better teenage life. Please do read this article.