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Depressed Teen


Teen Depression has been one of the most pressurized situation for their parents and guardians. Depression in teens may be difficult to spot because sulkiness, irritability, antisocial behavior, negativity and withdrawal often go hand in hand with growing up.

"How to deal with Depressed Teens?

For a teen in depression, there are ways by which they can cope with these feelings to avoid serious situations. All of the following suggestions help develop a sense of acceptance and belonging that is very important in teenagers and adolescents.

  • They should try to make new friends. Healthy relationships with peers are central to teens' self-esteem and provide an important social outlet.
  • Ask them to participate in sports, job, school activities or hobbies. Staying busy helps teens focus on positive activities rather than negative feelings or behaviors.
  • Teens may join organizations that offer programs for young people. Special programs geared to the needs of adolescents help develop additional interests.
  • Ask a trusted adult for help. When problems are too much to handle alone, teens should not be afraid to ask for help.

But sometimes, despite everyone's best efforts, teens become depressed. Many factors can contribute to depression. To learn more click Causes of Teen Depression.

Does Depressed Teens Smoke More?

Teenagers suffering from depression are much more likely to reach for a cigarette than contented teens, says a new study.

"Teenagers with a depressive disorder had odds of nicotine dependence that were 4.6 times those of teenagers without depressive disorder," say researchers from the Christchurch School of Medicine in Christchurch , New Zealand .

The study found that co-factors such as family history of criminality or drug use (including cigarette smoking), association with delinquent peers, and feelings of low self-worth all contribute to increased rates of depression in teens. These increased rates of depression were mirrored in increased rates of smoking as well.

A cigarette can give the illusion of a quick mental fix in times of stress. It reduces anxiety, it energizes, and it tends to elevate mood. One of the reasons smoking is so persistently prevalent in our culture is because it is a way that people can medicate themselves against stress, against low mood under stressful circumstances.

For many, the teen years are another difficult time in life. We need to raise consciousness that adolescence is a time when people go through a lot of self-doubts and periods of feeling blue. Adolescents need to work with each other to try to keep from resorting to use of lethal drugs when they go through those periods.

Parents can help by trying to discover the underlying reasons why an adolescent may have taken up the habit.

What Can Parents Do If a Teenager is Depressed?

If you suspect depression in your teen child the following tips may help to bring your child out of the depressed phase.

  • Respond with love, kindness, and support. Let your child know that you are there, whenever she or he needs you, and do so often.
  • Depressed teenagers do not want to feel patronized or crowded. Once the adolescent begins to talk, do not criticize or pass judgment.
  • Encourage them to keep active and praise them for their efforts.
  • If the adolescent's depressed feeling doesn't pass with time, seek help from a doctor or mental health professional.
  • Be aware of the behaviors, note how long and how often the behaviors have been occurring, and how severe they seem.

Parents should not wait and hope that symptoms will go away on their own. When depression is severe - if adolescents are thinking about hurting themselves or about suicide - seek professional help as soon as possible.

Bottom line for Depressed Teen:

If you are concerned about depression in yourself or a friend, TALK TO SOMEONE WHO CAN HELP. There are many people who you can talk to:

  • A psychologist.
  • Your school counselor.
  • Your parents, or a trusted family member.
  • Your family doctor.
  • Your clergy. 
  • A professional at a mental health center.

Teen Depression and Suicide - The most common disorders that predispose to suicide are some form of mood disorder.

Back to Teen Depression.

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