A report from the Associated Press reveals that approximately 2 million adolescents have been affected by teen depression in the U.S. alone and the number is constantly increasing. The US government has instructed authorities to do regular screening of teens to check if they have this problem. The findings of a task force reveal that nearly 6 percent of the teens in US suffer from clinical depression. The US government has covered teen depression also in its medical insurance schemes. The schemes will cover not only treatments for this mental health problem but substance-abuse treatment as well. According to the government announcements, the coverage and the clauses like deductibles, co-pays, etc. must be at the same levels as extended for physical health problems.
Further, videos that may be useful for parents to learn, acquire and update knowledge about teen depression are also being released periodically. Such knowledge will help parents handle their adolescent children appropriately. These children have to be taught to cope up with the stress and anxiety problems they encounter.
Parents who learn to recognize the symptoms of teen depression can take timely action for helping their children. They can deal appropriately with the behavioral as well as health problems of their teens. But, those parents who ignore the importance of learning about this problem may not bestow enough attention on their children. This may worsen the situation and these teens may even go to the extent of drug abuse, attempting suicide, etc.
Sings of Teen Depression
Changes in Eating Patterns
Children affected by teen depression may not have proper appetite and hence, there may be drastic changes in their eating patterns. They may not also care about what they eat. In general, teenage children should take nutritious diets because they may be physically active. Further, it is during teenage there will be changes in the neural networks in the brains of children. Nutritious diets alone can help in proper development of their brains.
There will be extreme changes in the moods of the teens affected by depression. They will always be sad and moody. Due to this, they will avoid interaction with others including family members, friends and co-students.
Teen anxiety may be an important aspect that may accompany teen depression. Children affected by depression may worry even about trivial and routine things.
In general, teens like experimenting and some of them may try drinking alcohol or consuming drugs. But, if they take to these habits, it denotes mental health problems and more particularly, teen depression problem in them.
Some of the children who have been affected by teen depression may exhibit extreme emotions. There may be angry outbursts, defiant behaviors, extreme sadness, etc. Only if parents recognize these behaviors as signs of depression, they can take appropriate action.
Treatments for Teen Depression
It is not necessary that antidepressant medications should be a part of treating children with teen depression. The psychiatrist or the psychologist whom the parents approach may evaluate the teens and decide against prescribing these medications. They may give cognitive-behavioral therapy, counseling, etc. for the affected teens.
How Parents Should Deal With Depression of their Teens
Parents should be patient and should communicate with their teens constantly. Instead of focusing on their problem of teen depression, they should focus on making their children comfortable. Beginning the interactions with short talks about interesting things may help in freeing the minds of these children. Children should be allowed to express their feelings, thoughts and opinions and parents should not thrust their opinions on them.
In short, if parents spend quality time with their teens, they can not only observe the changes in their behaviors but can avoid the problem of teen depression itself. If they find that their teens have the symptoms of the problem, they can take appropriate and timely action also for treating teen depression.