Date: Jul 31, 2009
Title: Helping Depressed Teenagers
When teenagers are suffering with depression, they aren't always able to ask for help and may even refuse your help.
Helping Depressed Teenagers
When teenagers are suffering with depression, they aren't always able to ask for help and may even refuse your help. It is important that you:
Take their depression seriously.
- Offer unconditional love and concern.
- Take time to listen when they want to talk about their feelings.
- Show them you are available without being 'pushy'.
- Encourage them to do things you know they enjoy.
- Notice the little things they are doing that you approve of.
- Support and encourage them to get help without nagging.
- If they won't go for help, get some advice on how to best handle the situation.
- Take seriously any talk about suicide and actions such as giving away special things - do whatever is needed to ensure their safety, even if it is against their wishes.
Tips for parents
Parenting a teenager who is suffering depression can be very stressful. When you find yourself getting angry or frustrated:
- Take a step back and think about what is happening before reacting.
- Remember that your relationship with your child is important and they need it to continue.
- Think about your own views. Are you wondering why you should have to put up with the terrible behaviour (which will only make the situation worse) or are you thinking, 'Something must be wrong for my child to be behaving like this'?
- Ask people close to you for support.
- Look after yourself - you need to take care of your own needs if you are to help your child.
- Get professional help if you need to.
Contact Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or www.beyondblue.org.au for more information. Phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 in a crisis.
(Information from www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au)
Community Health at Yea Hospital - phone 5736 0410 and at Alexandra Hospital - phone 5772 0800