Overcoming Anxiety in Teens and Pre-Teens: A Parents Guide (Dr. Ts Living Well Series Book 5)

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Old, W. Rogers, F. Thornton, T. Varley, S. Vigna, J. Viorst, J. Alexander, S. Buscaglia, L. Carrick, C. Cohn, J. Richter, E. Rofes, E. Sims, A. Dower, L. Gootman, M. Grollman, E.

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The Parent's Corner. To find a suicide helpline outside the U. To learn more about suicide risk factors, warning signs, and what to do in a crisis, read Suicide Prevention. If you suspect that your teen is depressed, bring up your concerns in a loving, non-judgmental way.

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. Be gentle but persistent. Talking about depression can be very tough for teens. Acknowledge their feelings.

Anxiety - Wikipedia

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. The important thing is to get them talking to someone. Depressed teens tend to withdraw from their friends and the activities they used to enjoy.

Understanding your loved one’s eating disorder

But isolation only makes depression worse, so do what you can to help your teen reconnect. Make face time a priority. Combat social isolation. Do what you can to keep your teen connected to others. Encourage them to go out with friends or invite friends over. Participate in activities that involve other families and give your child an opportunity to meet and connect with other kids. Get your teen involved. While your teen may lack motivation and interest at first, as they reengage with the world, they should start to feel better and regain their enthusiasm.

Promote volunteerism.

Doing things for others is a powerful antidepressant and self-esteem booster. If you volunteer with them, it can also be a good bonding experience. Physical and mental health are inextricably connected. Depression is exacerbated by inactivity, inadequate sleep, and poor nutrition.


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Unfortunately, teens are known for their unhealthy habits: staying up late, eating junk food, and spending hours on their phones and devices. But as a parent, you can combat these behaviors by establishing a healthy, supportive home environment. Get your teen moving! Exercise is absolutely essential to mental health , so get your teen active—whatever it takes. Set limits on screen time. Teens often go online to escape their problems, but when screen time goes up, physical activity and face time with friends goes down.

Both are a recipe for worsening symptoms. Provide nutritious, balanced meals. Make sure your teen is getting the nutrition they need for optimum brain health and mood support: things like healthy fats , quality protein , and fresh produce. Encourage plenty of sleep. Teens need more sleep than adults to function optimally—up to hours per night. No one therapist is a miracle worker, and no one treatment works for everyone. Talk therapy is often a good initial treatment for mild to moderate cases of depression. Unfortunately, some parents feel pushed into choosing antidepressant medication over other treatments that may be cost-prohibitive or time-intensive.

In all cases, antidepressants are most effective when part of a broader treatment plan.

Antidepressants were designed and tested on adults, so their impact on young, developing brains is not yet fully understood. Some researchers are concerned that exposure to drugs such as Prozac may interfere with normal brain development—particularly the way the brain manages stress and regulates emotion. Antidepressants also come with risks and side effects of their own , including a number of safety concerns specific to children and young adults.

They are also known to increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in some teenagers and young adults. Teens with bipolar disorder , a family history of bipolar disorder, or a history of previous suicide attempts are particularly vulnerable. The risk of suicide is highest during the first two months of antidepressant treatment. Teenagers on antidepressants should be closely monitored for any sign that the depression is getting worse.

Be understanding. Living with a depressed teenager can be difficult and draining. At times, you may experience exhaustion, rejection, despair, aggravation, or any other number of negative emotions. Your teen is suffering, so do your best to be patient and understanding. Stay involved in treatment. Be patient. Rejoice in small victories and prepare for the occasional setback. As a parent, you may find yourself focusing all your energy and attention on your depressed teen and neglecting your own needs and the needs of other family members.

Above all, this means reaching out for much needed support. Having your own support system in place will help you stay healthy and positive as you work to help your teen. Reach out to friends, join a support group, or see a therapist of your own. Look after your health. Be open with the family. Kids know when something is wrong.

When left in the dark, their imaginations will often jump to far worse conclusions.

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