Finding the best help for a depressed struggling teen is not always a straight shot. What works for one teen may not be helpful for another. As kids become older and their life problems become more complex, you have to transition to a supportive role. You may not have all the answers, but that’s okay. Your job is not always to be your teens hero and sometimes they need help that you cannot provide them with. A depressed struggling teen may take a little more effort and attention, but there is hope. Below are three steps to help you begin addressing your teen’s struggles.
The first step to helping your teen is to listen without judgement. One of the most important things you can do for your teen is to work on strengthening your relationship. Try to build empathy and understanding by putting yourself in his shoes. You might be frustrated that he seems down and irritable a lot of the time and doesn’t seem to be doing much of anything to help himself. But if there isn’t much in his life that is making him happy, or something intensely disappointing has happened to him, it’s understandable that he might avoid things he used to enjoy and retreat to his room. Depression makes even doing the smallest things more difficult.
Make sure you’re pointing out the positive things your teen is doing. Going to school, holding down a part-time job, doing the dishes or picking up a sibling from school: These are all good and productive things they are doing, and it’s important to recognize them rather than thinking, “This is what she should be doing.” We all like to be appreciated and recognized for doing a good job even when it’s expected of us. This will help boost your teen’s confidence and positive outlook.
Getting help is a critical part of your teen’s recover. Some teens will want to go to therapy when you ask them and some won’t. For those who are resistant, know that they aren’t going to suddenly open up to the idea of therapy (or to you) quickly, but you can help guide them towards treatment by opening the door and then waiting patiently for them to walk through it. Contact your local health care provider and seek guidance on next steps.
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 struggling with behavior and emotional issues such as those that can stem from peer-relationship struggles. This program focuses on helping young women heal, recover, and integrate healthy habits into their lives. Students will learn to build healthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate. Solstice East gives young women the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!