Is your teen struggling with depression or anxiety? Are you very concerned about your teen’s state of well-being? Teenage depression and anxiety can lead to serious problems, such as low self-esteem or even suicide! As a parent or caregiver, it’s your responsibility to help the adolescent in your live overcome his/her problems. It’s easier said than done though, isn’t it?
It’s not difficult, either! You can really help teenagers overcome their depression or anxiety. Support and encouragement are the best things they need. In order to provide support and encouragement, you need to understand teenage depression and anxiety and why they are serious problems.
Depression in Adolescents
Adolescent depression isn’t just bad moods and “feeling down”. It’s a serious problem that impacts every aspect of a teenager’s life. If it’s not treated, it can lead to problems at school or home. It can even cause self-loathing, drug abuse, and suicide or homicidal violence!
Fortunately, it can be treated. With the right support from a parent, friend, or teacher, a young adult can overcome depression.
Now, there are many misconceptions about depression. Healthy teens can balance schoolwork, home life, regular activities, relationships, and typical “angst”. Depressed teens cannot concentrate on anything because they are too depressed to find an interest in anything. They feel an overwhelming sense of despair, sadness, and anger. They focus on these negative feelings and seldom feel happy.
Adults who suffer from depression can always go out there and get help. There are support groups and counseling sessions available. Teenagers must rely on their parents or caregivers to help them.
How You Can Support a Depressed Teenager
• The most important thing you can do is let them know that you are there to listen. They have your support, no matter what. Let your teen know how much he/she is valued and cared for.
• Always try to be understanding. Even if your teen exhibits behavior that worries you, or says things that you don’t like, you should still try to understand. You may experience despair or frustration when trying to deal with a depressed adolescent, yet you must still be patient and calm. Remember that your child is suffering, so you need to help them no matter what.
• Encourage physical activity. Try to get your teen to begin an active lifestyle. Exercise can really help relieve the symptoms of depression. Something as simple as riding a bike or walking a dog can really help a depressed individual feel better.
• Try to get your teen to engage in more social activity. Isolation makes depression worse. If he/she is good at art, encourage him/her to join an art club. Find a list of clubs and classes in your area and help the teenager choose one.
Anxiety in Teenagers
Anxiety can manifest in different ways. It doesn’t always have to be caused by a stressful situation or event. Adolescents can experience anxiety at any time for any reason. It can be defined as a painful or uneasiness of the mind. If it goes untreated, it can lead to physical problems such as nausea, chest pain, breathing difficulty, insomnia, muscle fatigue, and so forth.
Teens may experience anxiety for different reasons. Some have social phobia and fear going to school, simply because they feel anxiety whenever they’re around other people. This is much more than simple shyness. The thought of interacting with others can make them feel physically ill. Some teens experience anxiety over tests, relationships, home life, etc.
How You Can Help Relieve Anxiety in Teens
• The key to helping anxiety in adolescents is this: listening. Teens don’t want to listen to their parents if all their parents are going to do is nag and criticize. They need to know that whatever they say is taken seriously. Encourage them to talk to you and let them know that you will listen with an open mind.
• The anxiety needs to be released, so help them find an outlet through which they can release their feelings of anger, tension, and frustration. This outlet can be art, music, sports, volunteer work, etc. Find activities that will help your teen get rid of the restlessness.
• Help them to release their tension through breathing exercises and muscle relaxation techniques. They need to spend at least thirty minutes a day lying back and taking deep breaths through the abdomen. Since muscle tension can cause aching, they need to learn how to relax their muscles to prevent pain and discomfort.
Jason Ellis has been helping people overcome their anxiety and panic for years. His expertise deals with controlling the symptoms of stress and anxiety by applying proven, natural treatments for panic that bring results in minutes. On his blog you can also receive tons of info on anxiety attacks whether you’re researching for youself or perhaps want to know more about anxiety in children.