ADOLESCENTÂ Â Â DEPRESSION
Depression may be present , when your teenager has:
1.A sad or irritable mood for most of the day. Your teen mayÂ feel sad or angry or may look more tearful or cranky.
2. He or She may not enjoy things that used to make them happy.
3. There occurs marked change in appetite, weight and or eating pattern, either up or down.
4. Your teen may Sleep too little at night or too much during the day.Â
5.No longer wanting to be with family or friends.
6.A lack of energy or feeling unable to do simple tasks.
7.Feelings of worthlessness or guilt. Low self-esteem.
8.Trouble focusing or making choices. School grades may drop.
9. Not caring about what happens in the future.
10.Aches and pains when nothing is really wrong.
11. Frequent thoughts of death or suicide.
Any of these signs can occur in children who are not depressed, but when seen together, nearly every day, they are red flags for depression.
What should you do :
1. Talk to your child about his/her feelings and the things happening at home and at school that may be bothering him/her.
2. Consult your teen's doctor. Some medical problems can cause depression. Your doctor may recommend psychotherapy (counseling to help with emotions and behavior) or medicine for depression.
3. Your child's doctor may now screen your teen for depression every year from ages 12 through 21.
With suicide now a leading cause of death among adolescents. Treat any thoughts of suicide as an medical emergency.
4. Promote healthy lifestyle in family. The basics for good physical and mental health include a healthy diet, enough sleep, exercise, and positive connections with other people at home and at school.Â
5. Limit screen time and encourage physical activity and fun activities with friends or family to help develop positive connections with others.Â
6. One-on-one time with parents, praise for good behavior, encouragement for seeking care and pointing out strengths build the parent-child bond.
7. Provide safety and security
Talk with your child about bullying. Being the victim of bullying is a major cause of mental health problems.
8. Look for grief or loss issues. Seek help if problems with grief do not get better. If you as a parent are grieving a loss, get help and find additional support for your teen.
9. Reduce stress as most teens have low stress tolerance. Accommodations in schoolwork is critical as well as lowered expectations at home regarding chores and school achievements.
Dr Suhail Naik