By Hak Ty
Many people believe today that teenagers lack respect for authority, lack respect for school, and even lack respect for family. For the most part they are looked down on by society as being disobedient trouble-makers. Being a teenager isn't an easy task. They're constantly being exposed to new, scary situations, and it's hard for any teenager to overcome one of these obstacles because of how they are looked at by other people, and one of the biggest problems a teenager has to face is depression.
About 5% of teenagers suffer from severe depression. More often than not they have a very hard home life usually consisting of depressed parents or abusive siblings. Teens who are under a lot of stress, or suffer from anxiety and learning problems, are at higher risk for depression. Highschool is the leading cause of stress in a teenagers life, and parents need to take that into consideration. Instead of making your kids do homework you need to help your kids do homework. Another thing teenagers are exposed to is drinking and drug usage. If you catch your kid drinking alcohol or smoking pot there are many things you can do besides yelling at them and grounding them. Try to explain to them what happens when people drink and drive. Talk to them about your life experiences with drinking and drugs. Or you can even negotiate with them and tell them they can drink if they do it within the household. Anything is better than just yelling at them and leaving them alone, because chances are they will go out and do it again. Drinking is a sign that your teenager may be depressed, so you also need to realize yelling at them will not solve the problem. There are also many other signs to watch for if your teenager is suffering from depression:
- Sudden loss of interest in doing activities they once enjoyed
- Little to no energy. Sleeps a lot
- Increased anger and hostility
- Self-Injury, which may lead to suicide attempts
- Poor concentration in home or at school
- Persistent boredom
You're probably wondering what you should do if your teenager is depressed. The first step is to seek professional help. You might think because your the parent it would be best for you to help your child out, but the truth is you need to find real professionals to help your teenager through their depression. Unless you're a certified therapist, I wouldn't recommend you taking the responsibility to help your kid's depression. You can support your child, and talk to them frequently, but don't try to cure them. Also be aware of the many types of medicines out on the market for depression. If a therapist suggests a certain type of pill for your teenager, look it up on the internet and find out all of the information you can on the medicine. There are many types of pills that have very bad side effects, and you as the parent need to make sure what you think is appropiate for your child. Remember, the therapist only suggests these pills, you need to make sure if it's the best route to take. Also keep in mind that if your kid suffers from any kind of medical disorder, you let your therapist know before your teenager takes any kind of medicine, and let your doctor know what the therapist is wanting to prescribe them.
Before I bring this article to a close I'd just like to give my final thoughts. Teenagers are people just like anyone else, and they're dealt many hard cards in life. You were a teenager once, so you should know what it's like. It's one of the hardest parts of your life. If you give your child the love and care that they need, they can get through their depression and make it out of highschool just fine. Punishment is something you should do while the child is young, once they become adolescent you need to start talking to them more about personal things and helping them along the way, not punishing them. There are more good teenagers out there than bad, people just don't pay enough attention to find out. The problem with the world isn't teenagers, it's the people who aren't giving teenagers the chance they deserve who are the problem.