As a parent, the last thing you want to see if your child is any type of pain or problem. Luckily, in many instances, there are things that you can do to help make their situation easier or at least more manageable for them. But when it comes to mental or emotional stresses like depression, you might quickly find out how helpless you really can be when it comes to caring for your child. But despite how personal depression can be, there still are some things you can do to assist your teen. To show you what, here are three tips for helping your teen if he or she is going through a depressive episode.
Encourage Healthy Habits and Routines
When someone’s feeling depressed, it’s not uncommon for them to stop taking care of themselves physically as well as mentally. If you notice this happening with your teen, the Anxiety and Depression Association of American advises that you try to encourage your teen to pick back up on some healthy habits or routines. Some of the things you might want to help make happen include daily exercise, a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep at night. Even these seemingly simple tasks can help ease the burdens of someone suffering from depression. While you’ll want to keep these routines flexible for when the depressive episode is particularly debilitating, sticking closely to the routine can be very helpful.
Practice Compassionate Support
If you yourself don’t have any personal experience with depression, it can be hard for you to understand just what your teen is going through. Because of this, what you think of as being helpful or supportive might not actually be seen that way by your child. To combat this, Stephanie Dowd, a contributor to Child Mind Institute, recommends that you try to be as compassionate and understanding as you can while also suspending your judgement or criticisms. While this can be very challenging, taking this route is really what’s going to be best for your teen and your relationship together.
Seek Professional Treatment
Sometimes, the best option for your teen is going to be to seek professional help that you simply might not be able to offer on your own. If and when this becomes the case, HealthyChildren.org shares that you should do your best to help your teen stick to his or her treatment plan, including keeping up with medications and appointments with therapists. Your support in this way can be invaluable to your teen while he or she strives to get their depression to a manageable place.
If you have a teen suffering from depression, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you learn what you can do to help during this tough time.