How To Cope With Teen Depression
The symptoms of depression can appear during adolescence and may include changes in sleep patterns, appetite, and weight. Feelings of despair, hopelessness, sadness, and worthlessness may also appear. Other signs include social withdrawal, trouble concentrating or remembering, suicidal thoughts or actions, and medically unexplained symptoms. When mental-health professionals suspect depression, they usually look for groups of symptoms that persist for weeks and that disrupt a person’s everyday life.
Two Factors for Teen Depression
Physical factors. In some cases, depression often runs in families, suggesting that genetics can play a role, perhaps affecting chemical activity in the brain. Other physical risk factors include cardiovascular disease and changing hormone levels, as well as ongoing substance abuse, which may intensify depression, if not give rise to it. *
Stress. While a little stress can be healthy, chronic or excessive stress can be physically and psychologically harmful, sometimes to the point of plunging a susceptible, or biologically vulnerable, teen into depression. That said, the exact causes of depression remain unclear and may involve a combination of factors, as mentioned earlier.
Stress-related factors linked to depression may include parental divorce or separation, the death of a loved one, physical or sexual abuse, a serious accident, illness, or a learning disability—especially if a child feels rejected as a result. A related factor may be unrealistically high parental expectations, perhaps in regard to scholastic achievement. Other possible causes are bullying, uncertainty about the future, emotional estrangement by a depressed parent, and parental unpredictability. If depression results, what may help a teen to cope?
And illness can affect any part of our body, including our brain! Lifestyle changes may also be advisable because our mind and body are closely connected.
If you suffer from depression, take reasonable measures to care for your physical and mental health. For instance, eat wholesome meals, get sufficient sleep, and exercise regularly.
Exercise releases chemicals that can lift your mood, increase your energy, and improve your sleep.
If possible, try to recognize triggers and early warning signs of a depressive mood and create a suitable plan of action. Confide in someone you trust. A supportive network of close family members and friends may help you to cope more effectively with your depression, possibly reducing symptoms.
Record your thoughts and feelings in a journal—a practice that helped Julia, quoted earlier. Above all, be sure to address your spiritual need. This can greatly improve your outlook on life.