Approximately one-fifth of teenagers today will experience some form of depression before adulthood. Depression can increase a teen’s risk of suicide by as much as 12 times, and in the next 24 hours, almost 1,500 of them will attempt to commit suicide.
These are frightening statistics, especially for families with teenagers currently in the home. Anxiety and depression in teens is a fraught topic, and it can be difficult for parents to find a good balance between being too nosy and giving a teen too much space. However, studies have shown that support from the family can have an enormous impact on a teen’s life, which means that it’s more important than ever for you to communicate clearly with your teenager.
Sometimes, it’s hard to differentiate between normal teenage behavior and behavior that’s off the mark. Teens are known for being difficult, especially around authority. The most important thing is simply to let your teen know that you’re there for them and that they can always turn to you when they’re in trouble, no matter what the situation happens to be. Trust and love can go a long way.
How do I know if this is typical teenage behavior?
Trust your gut. You know your teenager, even if they think you don’t; after all, you’ve known them for their entire life. Don’t pry too much into their daily life, but if you feel like something is off about the way they’re acting, talk to your teen. Let them know that you love and appreciate them, that you’re here to support them, and that they should feel free to talk to you if they have any problems or concerns.
What are some warning signs of teenage depression?
These may vary from teen to teen, but some general warning signs include:
- Repeated mentions of suicide or death
- Preoccupation with death in writing or art
- Lack of desire to participate in activities they used to enjoy
- Moodiness or social withdrawal
If you notice your teen exhibiting these behaviors, talk to them, or get in touch with a teen expert. A professional can help you identify anything that isn’t typical teenage behavior, set out a plan of action, and open up new channels of communication between you and your teen.
It may not always feel like it, but you are a crucial part of your teenager’s life. Get involved, and help keep your teen happy and healthy.