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depression / parenting

depression in teens  are more common  then any other age group.  what are some ways to deal with teens and depression and how do you read the signs that depression is near in a teen and how do you go about speaking to them.
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Avatar_m_tn
I doubt your statements are correct actually. It is often a fallacy that all teenagers are depressed etc. In my teenage years no one I knew showed any signs of it. I had it but ignored it and just had fun.

Today the media makes much of this and I believe convinces some they are depressed when the reality is they are simply going through that finding their way phase in our lives. From puberty to mature age that stays the same, truly.

You speak to all people the same way. Anything else would be condescending and noticeable and therefore rejected. You make "them" sound like they are from outer space. No, just the bedroom.

How do you read the signs? From their faces of course. Same as with any himan being. If they are sad they will show it. Teenagers are not good at hiding feelings.

Treat them as adults and assume they too can think and make decisions. Anything else makes you look a fool.
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Avatar_f_tn
Depression in teens is marked by bouts of crying and/or sadness, loss of interest in friends, activities, and sleeping a lot.  Their faces may not show it, it's more in their actions.  It can be difficult to get a teen to speak to you, I found with my own that while it was just the 2 of us, I'd say something like "today has been a rough day, do you have these?"  You need to let them know that you understand and by letting them know that you too, have bad days because as adlults they think we handle everything just fine.  Once you open the door to communication you can determine if the teen is depressed or just going thru a rough time.  It's good that you are aware of the high rate of depression in teens, and by acting now you can show a teen how to better handle problems, and maybe head off future depression.
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Avatar_m_tn
Sorry to disagree with you but stats are stats. Read here for accuracy please :

http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/d/depression/stats-country.htm

This clearly states 5.3% of adults and 4% of adolescents. Sorry but that means teenagers are less commonly depressed than adults.

And faces are certainly the first indicator of depression in any person. The other things you mention are useful too but sleeping in for one is a common trait of every teenager I have ever known and depression did not automatically follow as a result of that.

The most telling stat on depression is the number of women who suffer compared to men.
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Avatar_m_tn
My story is straight. I am but one individual and the way my life went is not representative of anything but my life. I did not know I was depressed until I was 35 Mammo. I had dythsmia and thought it was normal so I just lived with it.

If you didn't take note of the stats on that last link perhaps you will believe the World Health Organisation, the authority on all health problems world wide.

http://www.searo.who.int/en/Section1174/Section1199/Section1567/Section1826_8109.htm.

This is the bit that is relevant :

"Depression in children

It was earlier believed that children and young adolescents are incapable of experiencing depressive symptoms and hence cannot suffer from depression. It is possible that many cases of childhood depression were being treated as school phobia or behavioural or temperamental aberrations. Subsequent careful investigations into childhood psychiatric problems, as well as that of suicides in children, has revealed that depression as a full-blown illness is quite common during childhood.    

The risk of occurrence of major depression is between 15 and 20% among children and adolescents, which is almost similar to that of adult populations. Complicating the picture, however, is the fact that a large number of children and adolescents suffering from depression have other associated psychiatric illnesses such as anxiety, disruptive behaviour and drug abuse. The symptoms of depression among this group remain largely the same as in an adult group; however, most of the manifestations due to the illness pertain to adjustment with peers and friends, problems in school, and indifferent or deteriorating scholastic performance. Children also appear sad, cry easily, manifest loss of interest and withdrawal, complain of bodily symptoms, and express pessimistic ideas. However, suicide among children has remained infrequent, yet a disturbing rising trend has been observed in the last one decade, and suicide is reported to be the third leading cause of death among adolescents in the western world."

Note the statement about 15 - 20 % which is ALMOST similar to that of the adult population. This is consistent with the last link I gave you which shows adult depression slightly higher than children AND teens.

Try reading and understanding instead of quoting your own experience as the commonality for all human beings.

I wrote against my own experience specifically because I know the facts are not as the poster or you claim. Enough of your denial, get over it and accept that what you have experienced is simply that. Your experience. Read widely and you'll get facts as well.

As to the media not influencing parents. Are you kidding? That's what they do Mammo, influence people. TV shows portray teenagers as sad, dark amd suicidal more often than adults. Why? It suits the image of a media hatred of "their" music perhaps is one reason. Another is simply that is what so many think to be true. Like yourself. And you do not check your facts or listen when told the facts.

Do and say what you like Mammo. On this you are wrong and I've given you the facts. I won't respond to any more denials unless you can get the World Health Organisation to change their stats. And please don;'t try dissecting the statement from WHO as it is clear in it's meaning. Children suffer depression LESS than adults. Plus, although they say it's close to adult rates there are factors which confuse that greatly. Such as drug use and simlple misbehaviour.

No one has said kids don't get it Mammo. But to assert they get it more is simply cow droppings as stated by WHO and any other authority.
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Avatar_m_tn
Looking back to when I was a child, I do remember periods of feeling a weird unnatural sadness at times, but being a child I had no clue what I was feeling.

I was sad, but at the same time I had a lot of kid fun too and was still able to see a spark in life which I can no longer see.

I don't think adolecent (adolescent) or teen depression can even be remotly compared to the depths that adult depression can manifest into.

Again here were talking about Specific levels of Depression. I know many would like to box all depression up in one neat little box and say, "ok it's all the same and it all fits."

Fact is that there are different severity levels of depression. This is why the HAMD score was developed in the first place.

Mild teen depression can not even compare to the torment of severe adult depression.
Sorry, but it's like night and day.
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Avatar_f_tn
I hope this helps you.  You will find a few on here who prefer to argue than try and answer your question.

Teen depression: Prevention begins with parental support
Teen depression can harm your child's relationships and academics, as well as increase the risk of substance abuse. Understand what you can do to help prevent teen depression.
By Mayo Clinic staff

Teen depression is a serious health problem that can cause long-lasting physical and emotional problems. Not all teen depression can be prevented, but there's good news. By promoting your child's physical and mental health, you can help him or her handle stressful situations that might trigger teen depression.

What causes teen depression?
There's no single cause of teen depression. Genetics and environment may play a role. In addition, some teens are more prone to depression than are others — including children of depressed parents and children who have anxiety or behavior problems. Teen girls may be more vulnerable to depression than teen boys because girls are more likely to derive self-esteem from relationships. Some teens' relationships can be especially challenging due to early physical development that can make them look different and change the way peers treat them. Sometimes teen depression is triggered by a health problem, stress or the loss of an important person in the teen's life.

How does teen depression affect a teen?
Teens dealing with depression are more likely to experience teen pregnancy, abuse drugs and alcohol, and perform poorly at school and at work than are other teens. Teen depression is linked to an increased risk of suicide and suicide attempts, as well as a recurrence of depression in adulthood.

Teen depression: Prevention begins with parental support
How can parents prevent teen depression?
You may be able to help prevent teen depression by promoting your child's physical and mental health. Research has shown the following steps can make a difference, including:

Praising your child's skills. A 2008 study showed that children who struggled academically in core subjects in first grade were more likely to display negative self-perceptions and symptoms of depression in sixth grade. Meet with teachers to find out how your child is doing in school. If your child is having trouble in school, be sure to praise his or her other strengths — whether in music, athletics, relationships or other areas.
Promoting participation in organized activities. Research shows that playing team sports or taking part in other organized activities can help prevent teen depression by boosting a child's self-esteem and increasing his or her social support network. Encourage your child to get involved in extracurricular activities.
Encouraging physical activity. A small number of studies show that physical activity — regardless of the level of intensity — may slightly reduce teen depression and anxiety. While further studies are needed, there's no doubt that physical activity can improve your child's overall health. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends adolescents get one hour or more of physical activity a day.
Providing parental support. In a 2008 study, researchers suggested that the link between low family income and childhood depression might be explained by exposure to stressful events such as divorce or separation or low levels of parental support. Higher levels of parental support seemed to offer protection from depressive symptoms. Remind your child that you care by listening, showing interest in his or her problems, and respecting his or her feelings.
Talking to your child. One of the early warning signs of teen depression is a sense of isolation. Set aside time each day to talk to your child. This step can be crucial in preventing further isolation, withdrawal and progressive depression.
What if my child is at risk of teen depression?
If you're concerned that your child will develop teen depression, consider taking extra preventive steps. Recent research has shown some protective benefits for children of depressed parents who participated in depression prevention programs involving cognitive behavioral therapy — a type of psychotherapy — or efforts aimed at enhancing their resiliency. Further study of depression prevention programs is needed, however. Consult a mental health professional about the options and what might work best for your child.

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