Only 38% of adolescent men and 42% of adolescent women who reported suffering from severe depression are treated. A comprehensive approach to support depressed adolescents combines professional therapy and / or medication with self-help strategies. These self-help strategies can help change negative patterns and provide the teenager with tools that they can implement and research themselves.
Meet personally with supportive friends
Isolation leads to loneliness, which can lead to a stronger feeling of depression. What often helps is making contacts and staying in touch with others. A teenager fighting depression may need classmates to listen and give support. Sometimes other depressed teenagers are in the best position to do this. So consider an online support group specifically for depressed teenagers.
The movement helps fight depression in several ways, including releasing chemicals to make you feel comfortable in the brain. Participating in physical activity can help improve your teen’s mood. Exercise also increases body temperature, which can create a feeling of calm and help your child distract himself from his problems. Every movement can make a difference, be it walking the dog, dancing in the shower or riding a skateboard.
A study published in Public Health Nutrition found that people who routinely consume commercial baked goods and fast food are 51% more likely to develop depression than people who have eaten little or nothing. Eating nourishes the body and mind. Some foods tend to make depression worse, others can improve them.
For teenagers living on junk food, it often makes a big difference in how they feel when they add more nutritious foods to their diet. For more information on how to adopt a healthier diet, plan a session with a nutritionist who works with teenagers, or search for related information in books and online.
It is important to experience joy and happiness in life. When depression gets in the way, efforts to focus on fun can make a difference. Try to get the teenager to participate in activities that give them a feeling of joy. First, write down a list of everything that is fun, silly, or a moment of joy, and then try to include one in your daily activities.
Dispel pent up emotions
Healthy forms of emotional expression can include activities such as punching a punching bag, writing about it, singing music or making art. Accumulated feelings and emotions sometimes need to be released in a healthy way to fight depression. The process can also help identify some of the negative emotions that are often associated with depression. However, keep in mind that if this becomes a habit, it can eventually lead to rumination, which can lead to a more depressed and unhappy mood.
Sleep often plays a role in how a teenager feels physically and emotionally. Follow your teen’s sleep pattern for a few days for more information. The ideal amount of sleep for teenagers is usually eight hours or more per night. However, according to the National Sleep Foundation, only 15% of teenagers report having spent 8 1/2 hours on school nights. Too much sleep can also be a symptom of depression.
Self-help strategies complement professional treatment
Self-help strategies do not replace professional treatment and are best used as a tool to supplement therapy and / or medication by reducing symptoms and empowering teenagers to feel better and have more control over their lives. If you haven’t done so already, make an appointment for your teenage boy with a teenage therapist. Mental health problems are usually very treatable, especially if a psychiatrist and the adolescent’s family provide emotional support.