It’s really cold outside and I hope that you are inside bundled up under a blanket!
With cold weather often comes the winter blues… DEPRESSION.
Depression can be a very scary word to hear, especially if it comes from your TEEN. As a counselor that works with teens and runs teen therapy group, I want to share with you signs of depression. Hoping that parents can learn how to support their teen with depression.
Below are symptoms associated to depression that your teen may be experiencing:
- Feelings of hopelessness
- A low mood. Your teen may respond by saying “I feel blah or nothing”
- Feelings of worthlessness
- A lack of desire to have fun or engage in fun like activities
- Withdrawal from peers
- Negative thoughts. The thoughts may include harming oneself
- Irregular changes in appetite. Maybe overeating and having limited desire to eat.
I find that when parents are more aware and educated they can become a stronger and healthier vessel of support for their teenager.
Imagine if your teen came home and had a red hat on. Your teen looks at you and says, my hat is red. You respond and say YES, it is red. Validating how your teen feels can promote a healthier relationship. One that allows your teen to feel open to share their emotional struggles and proud moments.
Next time your teen shares something emotional, work to provide validation. Your teen will feel heard and understood.
Practicing coping skills
Coping skills can provide aid when your teen is struggling with depression. Exercise, writing down thoughts, practicing positive talk, and reframing statements are all healthy coping skills that your teen can use to manage their depression.
Words of kindness
Practicing praise can help your teen manage their emotional difficulties. Examples of praise include:
I appreciate all the effort you put into school.
- You’re so smart all your hard work is paying off.
- Thank you for the letter you wrote. I’m going to put it on the fridge.
- I am so thankful to be your parent.
- Your willingness to help makes me so happy.
I think something special and supportive parents can do is to aid their teen in mutually practicing coping skills. This can be accomplished by taking your teen for a walk, going to the gym, or reflecting on positive moments in life such as accomplishments noted in the family album.
If your teen is struggling with depression, they may be a perfect participant for the teen therapy group. The group requires registration prior to the date of the first. Complete the form below to apply for the teen therapy group.
Santos Counseling PLLC is currently enrolling for our Teen Therapy Group. This group helps teens with mood disorder. The group will teach your teen how to:
- Understanding their emotional difficulties
- Actually, learn how to implement skills to manage their mood
- Learn how to build healthy habits and positive relationships
- Gain skill in understanding to reduce negative behaviors like manipulation, guilt or lethargy
If you are unsure if your teen is experiencing depression or struggling with emotional difficulties, please contact me by email. I am happy to discuss your concerns about your teen and hopefully lead you in the right direction.