First off, Happy New Year. We all wish for a healthy and happy 2023 for our teens.
Most people think that the Christmas Season is the worst season for suicide. Actually, it is the beginning of the year. The isolation and sadness created by exacerbated teen depression, unfortunately, begin to move into the most negative of actions a teen can take.
As a parent, we don’t want to jump automatically to the worst possible outcome. But we do want to be aware of the most prevalent symptoms of depression for teens and possible actions we can take.
Symptoms of Depression:
- Withdrawal from friends, social situations, family, and school
- Unusual moodiness
- Changes in sleep patterns or eating patterns
- Possible self-sabotage, including cutting oneself or quitting studying
- Overall sadness
- No interest in the future
- Communication changes
Talk to your teen
You can discover some of these symptoms with good parental observation.However, nothing will beat positive conversations between you and your teen. My number one recommendation for parents is to make dinners cell phone-free. Use dinners for communication events and learn to ask good leading questions while remaining non-judgmental.
Taking it one step further, make car rides together to events an opportunity to have a great uninterrupted conversation. No texting or music here, just great conversation. You can see more conversation ideas at www.abrighterday.info under “Resources”.
Here are several action steps you can take as a parent should you be concerned:
- Talk to the school counselor and get some feedback about what may be going on at school.
- Get yourself caught up on depression for teens’ information. Hundreds of original articles are on our website. Sign up for our newsletter to receive these articles straight to your inbox. They are all free with no advertising.
- Have both your teen and you use our free Text Message Advice Program. Simply type BRIGHTER to 741741 any time or day of the year and speak to a trained counselor for up to 45 minutes per day, every day. No charge here.
- For teens that need in-person counseling, we have teamed up with BetterHelp to bring Zoom Counseling to all fifty states. And, we have a scholarship program to pay for these. Again, it is all on the website.
Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-206-1103.
All my best,