Teen depression has become a common phenomenon but the problem is quite serious because it affects the lives of the affected teens. If your teens have suddenly started performing poorly in studies, if they start behaving defiantly, take to unusual habits like smoking, drinking, etc., you should immediately delve deep and find out if they have this problem.
Depression can not only affect the behavior, thoughts and the feelings of the teens but it can affect their health. If you ignore this problem and leave it untreated, things may go out of hand because in extreme cases, teens attempt suicide also. Apart from providing them with medical treatments, you can choose the option of counseling by competent counselors also. These counselors may help your teens recover quickly from their problem.
Two Types of Teen Depression
The first type of teen depression is known as Dysthmia and it is also called Reactive Depression or Major Depression. The second one is manic depression. If teens are affected by major depression, sad feelings are predominantly “visible” in them but in the case of manic depression, there may be elation as well as devastation but they may occur in cycles.
Why Counseling Is Important
The counselor who may be a trained or experienced professional will talk through the feelings of the affected teens and find out the causes that have triggered this problem of teen depression. Based on these findings, the counselor may recommend the right kind of treatment to these young people.
If you are a counselor, you should understand the difficulties involved in your task. Only if you adopt a practical approach, you can counsel the teens who come to you in the right manner.
Tips For Counseling Young People With Teen Depression
Listening and Reflecting
As a counselor, you should listen to the teens attentively and the teens should also know that you are listening to them. Only then, they will share their feelings and thoughts with you.
You should never judge the teens based on their teen depression problem. Teens may find out if you commit this mistake. You should never forget the fact that nobody is perfect in this world.
Do not Identify Yourself Excessively With Them
Many counselors commit this mistake and you should avoid this. If you identify yourself excessively with these teens, the very purpose of the counseling process will get defeated. It is not necessary that you should share your personal experiences with them.
Try To Find Out If There Is Real Danger
This is important but it may take some time for you to find out if there is real danger. Till then, you should not take things lightly. You should rather assume that real danger exists. This means that until you are certain that the teens you are counseling are behaving over-dramatically, you cannot afford to ignore the danger. If you are not able to make out, you can seek the help of another professional so that the subjectivity in your assessment is considerably reduced.
Know What Black-and-White Thinking Is
Teens have a tendency to assume that the problems they face are the worst. So, you should ask suitable questions that can make them realize that the intensity of their problems is not as severe as they have assumed.
Ask the Right Questions
Your aim as a counselor is to help these young people with teen depression realize that solutions are available for their problems. So, you should ask appropriately worded questions so that they realize that changes and solutions are possible.
Find Out If There Are Any Secondary Gains
You must find out if and what the teens will gain from this problem. If you find this out, you can get the right ideas for dealing with the teens.
Make Use Of the Family System Of The Teens, If Necessary
Some teens may have come to you without the knowledge of their family members. If you feel necessary, you must not hesitate to discuss the problem with the family members of these teens. But, you may have to seek the permission of the teens before you take this step. In cases like drug abuse, excessive drinking, etc., you can bypass them and discuss the problem with their family members. In short, you should not promise confidentiality to the teens who approach you for counseling.
Have Crisp Sessions
Counseling for teen depression need not involve long sessions. You should make the sessions as crisp as possible. You can instead increase the number of sessions.
Have Small Talk
You can begin the sessions with small talks like asking their interests, plans, etc. This may make the teens comfortable and they may feel connected also.
Never Hesitate To Seek The Help Of Professionals
It is better you seek the help of professionals like another competent counselor, an experienced and good doctor, a reputed psychiatrist and an organization in your area that provides child-protective services. These professionals will be of immense help to you if you are in doubt while executing your counseling task for the young ones who have teen depression problem.