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Posts Tagged ‘depressed teens’

How to Help Teens Bounce Back From Disappointment

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Being bullied for looking different can lead to teen depression. Is it depression or teenage drama?

Is your teen disappointed or depressed? Help them bounce back.

If you are a parent of a teenager, this scene described by a client is very familiar.

“Ashley, 14, is so moody it is hard to decide if she is depressed or just a teenager. Her best friend moved away last year and then she did not make the cut for the volley ball team. We knew she was disappointed, but we all face disappointments in life, don’t we?

She sulks when I ask her to help fix dinner, she sleeps a lot more than she used to, and when she is working on the computer she has tears running down her cheeks. Yet, when we ask her what is wrong, she just shrugs her shoulders or tells us to mind our own business.”

Depression, Disappointment or Just Being A Teen?

Some teens, and especially sensitive ones, have a great deal of trouble bouncing back from disappointment. A lack of resilience or over-reacting are subtle signs of depression that many parents write off as stress or typical teenage drama.

Many teens and parents don’t realize the signs of teenage depression, especially in the early stages. Signs include:

• Sadness or hopelessness
• Irritability, anger, or hostility
• Tearfulness or frequent crying
• Withdrawal from friends and family
• Loss of interest in activities
• Changes in eating and sleeping habits
• Restlessness and agitation
• Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
• Lack of enthusiasm and motivation
• Fatigue or lack of energy
• Difficulty concentrating
• Thoughts of death or suicide

FaceBook Depression

Although the symptoms may be similar to offline depression, when teens such as Ashley see her old friends and the girls who did make the team post what fun they are having, it is like sitting alone in the school cafeteria.

Because social media is so much a part of teen age life now, parents forget that this is a new playground. The politics are harsh and it makes it makes it very clear on the counter who has the most friends.

Among the potential harms are cyberbullying, social anxiety, severe isolation and deepening depression.

Warning to Parents

Although teens are dramatic by nature, trust your gut if your teen is losing the ability to bounce back from adversity. If their reaction, or lack of reaction, seems way out of character for your teen, seek medical advice.

The longer a depressed teen goes without seeing a doctor or therapist, the deeper they can dig themselves into a black hole. It will be easier to dig themselves out and find coping skills if they are giving tools and techniques early.

As a life educator I have seen individuals and especially teens get amazing relief from EFT (emotional freedom techniques). It is very easy to use the calming methods by yourself and does not require extensive counseling, which many teens refuse because of the stigma attached by unkind people.

Self Awareness Quiz

1. Does your teen show any of the symptoms of depression?
2. Have you suggested family counseling?
3. Will you (or your teen) check out Emotional Freedom Technique?

© Judy Helm Wright, life educator and empowerment coach. You have permission to use this article in your blog or online magazine, but please keep content and contact information intact.