The high numbers regarding anxiety and depression in teens are alarming. Experts keep trying to figure out why the numbers continue to rise. Research confirms what many mental health providers have known for years about this amazing, yet troubled population.
When you think about your adolescent, consider the following questions:
- Are your teens learning healthy coping skills to deal with stressors, anxiety, and depression? Who are their role models and are they learning healthy coping skills from them?
- When they experience emotional pain, have your kids learned how to deal with it? Do they have the appropriate support from you and professionals if needed?
- Do you know if your adolescent is involved in self-harming behaviors? If so, is he/she getting professional help? Be aware that this behavior has lately become a learned behavior from friends, acquaintances or others on social media.
- Can you recognize the symptoms of depression and anxiety in adolescents? The symptoms show differently in kids and adolescents than adults. Read reputable websites and resources so you can recognize the symptoms.
- Do you know that when teens perceive that their parents are too overwhelmed, stressed and worried about their own life, adolescents will choose to not disclose their struggles to avoid stressing their parents even more? How are you coping with your own stress?
- Are you connecting with your teen at some level every day? Kids can make us lose patience and drive us crazy at times. However, it is essential to connect with them daily. How are you doing in that area? Remember that research indicates that the human connection is essential when we are stressed.
- Are you aware of the amount of time your teen is spending in social media every day? Do you know that when kids are depressed and anxious, social media can worsen their emotional state? Setting limitations for you and the rest of the family is a step in the right direction.
- Are you micromanaging your kids’ lives? Research indicates this also contributes to kids not developing the ability to problem solve and face difficult situations in life. Many parents rescue them and don’t allow them to learn to “do hard things.”
Being a parent is difficult and when our teens experience anxiety and depression it is extra challenging. Fortunately, there are professionals who can help you and many resources available to guide you. Your teen can succeed in life even when depression and anxiety shows up at their door!