How to Help Your Teen With Depression

by | Feb 1, 2024 | Teen Counseling

As parents know, the teenage years are a time of change and growth. However, parents may notice that their teen is struggling, but may not be sure where to turn. Here is some information about raising a teen who is experiencing depression and how you as a parent can help.

What are the signs of depression in teens?

Depression in teenagers does not always present itself as it does in adulthood. Parents often begin to suspect something is going on based on behavioral changes in their child. This may be things such as difficulty in school, changes in peer relationships, or engaging in risk-taking behavior. You may also notice changes in sleeping or eating as well as motivation to complete activities they previously enjoyed.

How can parents help?

When you talk to your teen, begin with listening, acknowledging, and validating their feelings. Avoid the temptation to bombard them with questions. Remind them that you are available to talk and that they can discuss any of their concerns with you without judgement. It is important to be available without pushing or prying.

Find ways to relate to your teen, whether it is through stories of when you were a teen or an activity that you enjoy together. Look for opportunities to notice their strengths and remind your teen that depression is not a weakness.

When to seek additional support

The most common question from parents is when to seek additional support. Every teenager is different and will have different needs. Generally, if your teen’s depression is beginning to interfere with their daily lives, it may be time to seek additional support. This may be in the form of counseling and/or medication. Speaking with your pediatrician or a mental health provider that specializes in teenagers can be a great place to start.

Collective Hope Counseling, PLLC has over 15 years’ experience working with children and teens. We offer counseling for teens for a range of mental health concerns including anxiety and depression.

About the author:

<a href="" target="_blank">Stephanie Rodenberg-Lewis</a>

Stephanie Rodenberg-Lewis

Stephanie is a licensed professional counselor, a registered play therapist, a national certified counselor and a certified school counselor. She has over 17 years of experience working with children as a classroom teacher, school counselor and licensed therapist. She founded Collective Hope Counseling in August 2020 to help serve her community. With her extensive experience in child development, she knew she wanted to work with kids and their families. Stephanie completed additional training in child centered play therapy and became a certified+ play therapy professional in 2024.