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What do I do if I suspect my child or teen is depressed?

22 Answers
Last Updated: 02/25/2020 at 5:34pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Jamitia Wilson, MS, LAC

Pre-Licensed Professional

I believe that true healing occurs when one is able to honestly express how one feels about himself/herself and the world. I would be honored to support your healing change.

Top Rated Answers
ConallBranagin
December 8th, 2014 11:54pm
The best advice to this is the offer support, let your child know you are there to listen, do not push just allow for conversation. If given the opportunity for little things to be talked about, it is more likely you will be that trusted source for the bigger things. Encourage things like exercise and other endorphine raising activities, encourage strengthed friendships.
GoodGuyChad
October 28th, 2014 7:23pm
Be there for him/her. Don't smother your child, but try to offer some support. Sometimes depression requires professional support, and you are someone who can help your child find this if it turns out to be helpful. Reminder: Life is full of ups and downs and some depression is normal.
NoNeedToFearHayleyIsHere
October 29th, 2014 1:27pm
You need to talk to them, try to let them let you in. Tell them that you love them no matter the situation and that you two will get through the problem together. When teens are depressed they need to know that they have someone by their side.
CMThornRose
November 11th, 2014 9:37pm
Talk to them about it. Do not ovoid it as it won't go away. Explain why you think this but do not make it sound negative, don't consistently pester them. It's not their fault. Be loving as you already are, you're caring as you are concerned. Take them to the doctor as well so they can explain more.
DreamerOfDreams
December 1st, 2014 1:42pm
Show your child support. Let them know they are not alone and that they are loved. If you fear your child is getting worse I wouuld take them to a counselor, or talk to their doctor.
Anonymous
December 6th, 2014 11:55am
I will suggest you talk to them. No matter how much they say that they are fine and don't wanna talk, I believe that is the time when they need someone to listen. Listen to their problems and try to see it from their point of view.
Anonymous
December 21st, 2014 6:57pm
i always suggest listening to the child. he's got things to say, or things he wants you to help him understand. then, i say seeking a professional help. it goes a long way to help the child.
Letmeknowbts
December 24th, 2014 3:00pm
Ask about the things that upset them, the things that they don't like and let them express all that.
Anonymous
April 30th, 2015 1:22pm
I can not give you advice but I curly can ask you is you have talked to you child if they are feeling as if they wish to take their own lives. If so then call 9-11 or the national Suicide prevention hotline.
Anonymous
September 15th, 2015 12:57pm
Try talking to your child in nice supportive way. If this doesn't work talk to your child's friends, teachers. Ask somebody who you child trust to talk instead of you. The most important thing is to find out the reason of depression, then depends on the reason you'll have to decide how to proceed.
gracefulAngel96
September 17th, 2015 8:09pm
Talk to them about it. If you have the feeling that your child is unhappy, depressed, stressed, whatever the case may be, talking to them in a non-judgmental way that shows you love and support them is the first step we must take as parents.
YourSupportingHalf
September 25th, 2015 4:22pm
Ask then if they have anything they want to talk about with you. If you still suspect something is wrong tell them how you feel and why you assume something is wrong and that they deserve to be happy and that you'll get them help if they need it.
Anonymous
January 19th, 2016 6:23pm
Show love compassion patience and a sillingness to actively listen to them when they are ready to talk. Be an encourager not a judge, show you love them for who they are no matter how they feel or act - its hard work and emotionally exhausting so make sure you also care for you and have a support network - you can only help them if healthy yourself.
glisteningFireworks96
May 10th, 2016 7:01am
Try to talk to him. Try to make him believe that you are a friend and you will not judge him. Make him comfortable by citing experiances from the lows that you yourself have faced in your life. It will help him open up his heart to you.
Shade242
September 20th, 2016 4:43pm
Talk to your child about his feelings and the things happening at home and at school that may be bothering him. Tell your child's doctor. Some medical problems can cause depression. Your child's doctor may recommend psychotherapy (counseling to help people with emotions and behavior) or medicine for depression. Your child's doctor may now screen your child for depression every year from ages 11 through 21, with suicide now a leading cause of death among adolescents. Treat any thoughts of suicide as an emergency. What can I do to help? Promote health The basics for good mental health include a healthy diet, enough sleep, exercise, and positive connections with other people at home and at school. Limit screen time and encourage physical activity to help develop positive connections with others. One-on-one time with parents, praise for good behavior, and pointing out strengths build the parent-child bond. Provide safety and security Talk with your child about bullying. Being the victim of bullying is a major cause of mental health problems in children. Look for grief or loss issues. Seek help if problems with grief do not get better. If you as a parent are grieving a loss, get help and find additional support for your child. Reduce stress. Short-term changes in the amount of schoolwork, chores, or activities, may be needed. Weapons, medicines (including those you buy without a prescription), and alcohol should be locked up.
awesomeVision52
October 25th, 2016 7:11am
Tips for communicating with a depressed teen Focus on listening, not lecturing. Resist any urge to criticize or pass judgment once your teenager begins to talk. The important thing is that your child is communicating. You’ll do the most good by simply letting your teen know that you’re there for them, fully and unconditionally. Be gentle but persistent. Don’t give up if they shut you out at first. Talking about depression can be very tough for teens. Even if they want to, they may have a hard time expressing what they’re feeling. Be respectful of your child’s comfort level while still emphasizing your concern and willingness to listen. Acknowledge their feelings. Don’t try to talk your teen out of depression, even if their feelings or concerns appear silly or irrational to you. Well-meaning attempts to explain why “things aren’t that bad” will just come across as if you don’t take their emotions seriously. To make them feel understood and supported, simply acknowledging the pain and sadness they are experiencing can go a long way in making them feel understood and supported. Trust your gut. If your teen claims nothing is wrong but has no explanation for what is causing the depressed behavior, you should trust your instincts. If your teen won’t open up to you, consider turning to a trusted third party: a school counselor, favorite teacher, or mental health professional. The important thing is to get them talking to someone.
Anonymous
December 4th, 2016 5:56am
Tell your kid your concern and say: Whatever you’re going through is okay. You can simply talk to me. Offer support and hugs. If somebody suffers depression, make sure they know they aren’t alone.
RelaxingGiant
December 13th, 2016 12:02pm
Support, do not question them, listen to them, show appreciation for the little they don and motivate them to talk about the normal day to day activities, once you find it comfortable speaking to them daily, slowly introduce the topic and the moment you get a negative response continue the daily conversations. This will work up to a open line of communication.
Anonymous
March 6th, 2017 6:07pm
Its important to first talk about what might be going on in your child's life and Assumption is the first mistake we make.If however they are depressed then its important to encourage them to talk to a professional individual or even you if they feel comfortable. Giving support, a listening ear sometimes advice is important.depression put you in a state that can lead to suicide and no one wants that for their child, that's why a good relationship is important in the home and in parenting.
Anonymous
June 12th, 2017 4:38pm
Talk to them, let them know that your are always there for them if they ever need support or someone to talk to :)
Brittany8013
February 27th, 2018 3:30am
That is an excellent question! I would suggest having a gentle conversation with them, reminding them that you are there to support them. If they are showing signs of depression, ask if they would like to make an appointment with a doctor to make sure everything is alright. communication is key!
EasyListening0920
February 25th, 2020 5:34pm
Sit them down and have a conversation with them. Allow them to open up to you without fear of judgment or condemnation. Remember to be supportive and constantly remind them that they are loved. Do not invalidate their feelings or make them feel less than. It may take a while for them to fully open up, but you have to be consistent. When having the conversation do not make it feel like an interrogation. The last thing you want to do is push them away from you. If the case reveals itself severe, take them to get professional help.