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How to deal with people that have depression.

Depression is one of the most common issues for teens in America. About 30% of teens in America are actually depressed. As a parent with a teen that is depressed you might ask yourself how you can help, and you can help by paying attention to your child's feelings, stay calm when your child becomes anxious about a situation or an event (with this one if you don’t stay calm for your child, and your child can see you aren’t staying calm they might act out even more), recognize and praise small accomplishments, and don’t punish mistakes or lack of purpose.

One of the causes of depression within teens is a early childhood trauma, for example an emotional/physical abuse or a loss of a parent or loved one. In the event that you are a parent and you might think your child is depressed, you will want to pay attention to these warning signs to actually make sure your child is depressed or not:
  • obsession with death (if your child is obsessed with death and they are depressed they might be thinking about suicide and that is one of the outcomes of being depressed) 
  • giving away belongings 
  • dramatic change in personality or appearance (what I mean by dramatic change in appearance or personality is that if your child is a girl and she normally is happy and dresses cute everyday, then all of a sudden, she is sad/unhappy and dresses in like dark clothes everyday that would be a clue of something that might be wrong – and so as a parent pay attention) overwhelming sense of guilt 
  • shame or rejection 
  • change in eating or sleeping pattern 
  • severe drop in school performance

So, as a parent always pay attention on how your child acts because even with the littlest thing that might change, might help to help them. Meanwhile, if a teen is depressed it could be one of the many types of depression; like it could be either major depression, ‘situational’ depression, psychotic depression, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), persistent depressive disorder, permpartum depression, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). As a close friend or a close loved one like a sibling or parent or aunt (anyone like that) you guys might ask yourself how long an episode of major depression might last and the answer to that is an average: an episode of major depression lasts 4 to 8 months, although this duration can shorten by treatment. Then you might ask what types of treatment is there for my kid and/or friend and there are many types of therapy available for depression but it can also depend on the type of depression they have because therapy probably won’t help with all types of depression. Three of the more common methods used in depression treatment includes cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy and psychodynamic therapy but often a blended approach is used.

If you don’t know what the word cognitive means, it means the mental processes of perception, memory, judgement and reasoning, as contrasted with emotional and volitional processes. Some tips for depression treatment are:
  1. Learn as much as you can about your depression. It’s important to determine whether their depression symptoms are due to an underlying medical condition or not. 
  2. It takes time to find the right treatment. It might take some trial and error to find the treatment and support that works best for them. 
  3. Don’t rely on medications alone. Although medication can relieve the symptoms of depression, it is not usually suitable for long-term use. 
  4. Get social support. The more you cultivate your social connections, the more protected you are from depression. 
  5. Treatment takes time and commitment. All of these depression treatments take time, and sometimes it might feel overwhelming or frustratingly slow. 

Lifestyle changes to treat depression:

  • Exercise – regular exercise can be as effective at treating depression as medication. 
  • Social support – strong social network reduce isolation, a key risk factor for depression. 
  • Nutrition – eating well is important for both your physical and mental health. 
  • Sleep – sleep has a strong effect on mood. When you don’t get enough sleep. Your depression symptoms will get worse. 
  • Stress reduction – make changes in your life to help manage and reduce stress.