Teen Depression Treatment: Practical Tips for Parents
From the moment your child is born, it’s natural to worry about your child’s well-being. Looking after their physical health involves providing shelter, food, and the daily essentials they need, such as clothes. As a parent, you’ll also want to ensure your child’s mental health. This might mean finding ways to make them happy by encouraging their hobbies and interests or supporting their friendships.
Once your child becomes a teenager, it can be trickier to address their needs. Adolescents are more independent and may find it harder to talk about issues affecting them. In addition, like adults, teens are susceptible to depression and may struggle with suicidal thoughts. If your child is exhibiting symptoms of teen depression, use the tips outlined here to initiate an effective treatment plan.
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Get a professional diagnosis.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who treat patients with mental health issues, including bipolar disorder, depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety. Turn to a qualified mental health professional for a diagnosis to ensure your teen isn’t misdiagnosed. Psychiatrists can also recommend an appropriate treatment plan and outline some of your treatment options. In addition, psychiatrists can prescribe antidepressant medication or other medications suitable for treating your teen’s mental health needs.
Take advantage of short-term treatment options.
Teen depression treatments include the option of attending a residential treatment program. Qualified treatment teams provide several types of therapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and family systems therapy. Teens with major depressive disorder or severe depression symptoms benefit from spending time in a safe environment to focus on their condition and recovery.
In addition, teens can take advantage of individual therapy, group therapy, and experiential therapy. Through experiential therapy, teens express their feelings and thoughts through creative arts, such as writing or playing music. Teens can also learn to manage their mental health with recreational activities such as hiking and gardening. Finally, sending your teen to a residential treatment program can be an effective intervention for a teen struggling with substance abuse triggered by their depression or for a teen who’s a suicide risk. A change of scenery can be refreshing and can also help your teen put distance between themselves and environmental factors contributing to their depressed mood.
Invest in long-term support.
Some residential programs offer long-term outpatient support options. Your teen can also see a local mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor. Psychotherapy offers your teen an opportunity to discuss their depression symptoms and identify potential triggers. Teens should have a non-judgmental adult to talk to openly to help them process their mental health issues and develop coping strategies.
You can also support your teen by making permanent changes to your home. For example, exposure to mold increases the risk of depression, so invest in renovations and remove mold, mildew, and other allergens from your home. You can also improve air quality by purchasing an air purifier or adding houseplants.
Redecorating is another way to promote mental health. Some color schemes, textures, and patterns may bother your teen. However, enabling them to transform their personal space can bolster their sense of self-worth.
Promote your teen’s interests. Strengthening your teen’s self-esteem can help combat symptoms of depression and suicidal ideation. Identify your teen’s interests and find ways to encourage them to explore those interests. This could mean buying them a video camera and or letting them stream online while playing video games. Take them to conventions that center around their passions. For example, gamers and cosplay enthusiasts enjoy events such as Comic-Con. Horror buffs might prefer spending a weekend at Scares That Care or another horror convention.
Reinforce your teen’s sense of self-worth.
Invest in new items just for your teen. Whether your adolescent prefers a womens pajama set or colorful pajama set, letting them buy new clothes is a great way to convey how much you love and care about them, reinforcing their sense of self-worth. You can also let them update their wardrobe and invest in tunics, leggings, T-shirts, and outfits that reflect their style and preferences.
Depression can affect adolescents. The first step in treating depression involves getting a diagnosis from a mental health professional. Then, sending your teen to a residential program can be a great way to eliminate distractions and negative influences. Your teen can also benefit from long-term psychotherapy. Changing your home environment and finding ways to promote your teen’s interests and sense of self-worth are also ways to support their treatment for depression.
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