Prolonged sadness is a sign that your child needs urgent help.
All of us at some point in our life have felt sad, dejected, melancholic, unhappy, or broken down; it is part of knowing how to face daily problems. Things do not always go as we expect and for this reason, sadness comes to invade our hearts.
However, when these feelings last for a long time (weeks, months or years), it is a reference that indicates that a person suffers from depression. Perhaps, when you have a teenager, you can mistake these signals for hormonal changes that are in full swing.
Depression is a clinical diagnosis
The experts say that depression is a serious mental health problem that affects the way adolescents think, feel and behave, generating emotional, functional and physical problems.
Depression cannot be overcome with willpower when it is a clinical diagnosis, it requires treatments such as psychological therapies and sometimes even the intake of medications.
What are the causes of depression in adolescence?
Low self-esteem, pressure from peers and friends, bullying prolonged, unfulfilled academic expectations, having been a victim of violence or abuse, suffering from another type of mental disorder (anxiety, personality, eating or attention deficit hyperactivity), or being mourning the loss of a loved one, among other.
If the symptoms of depression are ignored, the consequences are serious, such as self-harm, even death. Therefore it is important to identify these signs early.
Teens cannot explain why they are crying; they usually have feelings of deep sadness, they do it in silence and hidden to go unnoticed, and thus avoid talking to parents. Crying is accompanied by feelings of hopelessness, emptiness, and misunderstanding.
2 Sudden changes in behavior
Most of the time they are angry, with feelings of frustration or anger, even exploiting their emotions for matters that are not important. The mood is irritable and upset, so they are always defensive and nervous.
3 They are not interested in anything
They lose motivation to do anything, like sports or everyday activities. They usually spend it lying down or interacting on their social networks.
Even a study states that adolescents who use social networks excessively (more than five hours a day) are at greater risk of presenting depressive symptoms. This can be caused perhaps, because they are being victims of online harassment or cyberbullying.
They try to get away from family and friends, even causing conflicts to avoid any rapprochement. Since they are with extreme sensitivity and fear rejection or failure.
5 Low self-esteem
They lack self-esteem, have insecurity and lack of confidence in themselves. They are very self-critical, to the degree of choosing to self-harm (cuts, burns, piercings or tattoos) or attempt against their own life.
Low self-esteem is related to feelings of worthlessness and guilt; they are even very sensitive to external comments, wanting to be accepted or recognized.
6 Poor school performance
They have trouble concentrating, thinking, making decisions, and remembering things. Usually, they do not do their homework or school work and often miss classes a lot.
For them it is difficult to fall asleep, therefore they are tired and without energy most of the time. They also modify their diet to the extreme, it can be by decreasing the appetite or increasing the calorie intake.
Adolescents generally turn to calcohol consumption,smoking or drugs, to wrongly get out of their problems and heal their feelings. Sometimes, they get hooked easily, to the point of not being able to get out of the addiction.
9 Physical pain
Have unexplained frequent headaches or stomach aches.
10 suicide plans
When adolescents do not find support and help in time, they can have suicidal thoughts. They usually begin to give away belongings to those around them, say goodbye to their family and friends (personally or with a letter), frequently talk about death or an attempt on their life, and take significant risks.
How to help them?
Talking with your children is essential to detect any symptoms of depression. Talk to them about their feelings, about the things they do every day at school and at home. It is valid to ask why is he upset most of the time? What does he dislike? Who are his friends? Among other things.
Routine medical visit
Depression is often caused by other disorders, therefore, it is important for the specialist to evaluate mental and physical health, so that they can determine the appropriate treatments.
Take care of habits
Encourage your child to get enough sleep, exercise, and do activities that they enjoy, so they will feel less stressed. Get involved in his world, accompany him as long as you can.
Teens spend a lot of time in front of a television screen, video game consoles, computers, and cell phones. Therefore it is important to limit the time of use and motivate them to carry out other activities or duties .
Parents can talk with their children about their own life experiences, on topics related to bullying, bullying, anxiety or depression, thus providing information they may not know.
Create a harmonious family environment, avoid conflicts at all costs. Remember that the family is the one that provides protection and security ; Help your child feel calm, protected and confident, with the support and love of his family.
The constant love, support and guidance of parents is essential to help children overcome the problem of depression. Consult with a specialist to get the best treatment and support yourself with the school authorities and aid centers. Remember, you don’t play with life!