As a parent, witnessing a shift in your teenager’s mood and behavior can be concerning. You might notice they’re not as chirpy as they used to be or are withdrawing from family and friends. It’s a common dilemma many parents face: Is this just a normal part of growing up, or is it something more serious like depression?

The teen years are known for periods of emotional upheaval, hormonal changes, and social pressures that can lead to sadness or moodiness. However, depression is different — it’s a serious mental health condition that affects how your teen feels, thinks, and handles daily activities.

Our experienced team at ReNew Wellness in Gilbert, Arizona, offers mental health care if you’re concerned your teenager has depression.

Recognize the signs

Recognizing the signs of depression in teenagers can be different from adults. Your teen may be depressed if they exhibit a noticeable change in their functioning that lasts for more than two weeks. Signs to watch for include:

  • Persistent sadness or hopelessness
  • Irritability or anger over seemingly minor things
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities they once enjoyed
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Lack of enthusiasm and motivation
  • Decline in academic performance
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Use of alcohol or drugs
  • Self-harm or talk of suicide

If you notice these symptoms, the first step is approaching the subject with sensitivity and care. Depression can make teens feel isolated and misunderstood, so it’s vital to communicate your unconditional support and understanding.

How to start the conversation

Initiate a conversation in a private, comfortable setting. Acknowledge that you’ve noticed changes in their behavior and express your concern without judgment. Encourage them to share their feelings, but understand if they’re not ready to talk. Sometimes, knowing you’re there for them can make a huge difference.

When to seek professional help

If you suspect your teen is dealing with depression, it’s critical to seek professional help. Our team at Renew Wellness is experienced in assisting kids and adults of all ages with mental health needs, including depression. Depression is treatable, and early intervention can improve outcomes.

We understand how difficult it is to see your child suffer. We offer a range of treatments that can help manage depression, including therapy and medication management. In some cases, innovative treatments like ketamine infusions, which we specialize in, may be an option, especially if traditional treatments haven’t been effective.

Support your teen at home

Beyond professional help, you can support your teenager by:

  • Maintaining a routine at home
  • Setting realistic goals for them to achieve
  • Encouraging physical activity and a healthy diet
  • Ensuring they get adequate sleep
  • Providing opportunities for relaxation and connection

It’s also crucial to promote a nonjudgmental atmosphere at home. This means actively listening, offering love and reassurance, and avoiding criticism. Be patient — it may take time for your teenager to open up or for treatments to take effect.

Get help for your teen today

If you’re worried that your teenager has depression, take heart in knowing there’s help and hope. With the right support and treatment, your teen can regain their balance and live a fulfilling life. Call our office or request an appointment online today to get your teen started on the road to better health and well-being.

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