Teenagers and Depression: Advice for When to Seek Professional Counseling

Should you be conserned if your teenager is showing signs of depression?
Well the short quick answer is yes. But it is not as easy as it sounds to just be conserned.

Anyone who has more than one teenager can tell you that sometimes teenagers can be a little difficult, some more so than others.

And while it is very true that you do need to be conserned if your child is showing signs of depression. Sometimes it is better to take a wait and see approach. (But not if your child is doing things that can cause harm to themselves or others)

What I mean by a wait and see approach is this. Take a little extra time to just listen to what your teenager is saying. You can listen and at the same time not agree with what they are saying. But by taking time to listen to what your teen is saying. You may “hear” what they are not saying.

You may discover that they have been being ridiculed or teased by someone, and they are not handling this well. They may have changed their behaviour trying to conform to what they think that will make them popular with their peers. Or at the least make them less of a target to be picked on.

But the choices they have made may not really be in their best interest. Teenagers can decide to do some very dangerous things, and to socialize with people who they really do not need to be.

The teen years can be difficult, and sometimes it is best to just stay up late and let your teen talk to you. About anything, and try to just listen. This can be hard at times. But if your child is showing signs of depression, the first thing you want to do is make an extra effort to listen to what is going on in their life.

Your teen may be showing some signs of depression, but that does not always mean they need to be put on medication for depression. (sometimes it is needed but not always).

While it may seem difficult to know when to seek professional assistance, sometimes you can help your child work through a mild case of depression just by taking extra time with them. But if despite everything you do to help your child work through depression there is no improvement. Or if you notice that your child is loosing all interest in things once important to them. Then it is in your child’s best interest to seek the assistance of a professional counselor.

Teenagers can and do become severly depressed at times. Just as older people do. But from my personal experience sometimes just having someone to listen to me talk helps a lot. And I was at one time a very depressed teenager. I did attempt suicide. Not every depressed teen will do that, but some will.

Also sometimes when a child or teenager is depressed or showing signs of depression it can be because of some sort of abuse that is going on. Especially sexual abuse. The teen years are difficult by themselves, because of the bodily changes that are going on, and the added expectations at school and home. Then add in sexual abuse and that can push someone over the edge.

That was what pushed me over the edge as a teenager. I had already delt with many things including being homeless, and going to many different school. It was not until I was much older that I realized some of the many reasons for my depression.

It is because of what I felt and delt with as a teenager that I try to take extra time to listen to my teenagers now. I am not always as good at that as I should be. But I do try to take time to listen as often as possible.

And I do believe that sometimes it is wise for a parent to take their child for professional counselling. Because sometimes teenagers can not see that the problems they have today, will pass.

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