Raising teenagers can be a literal headache at times: moodiness and angst, slammed doors and mumbled words. But when is “usual” teenage angst something to be concerned about? In the Wall Street Journal article, “How to Spot Teenage Depression” by Elizabeth Bernstein, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “In 2016, around 13% of U.S. teenagers ages 12-17 had at least one major depressive episode in the past year, compared to almost 8% in 2006…[additionally] almost 60% of adolescents with a major depressive disorder didn’t receive treatment. Parents don’t always identify the problem—or know what to do about it even when they do.” Many teenagers are moody, but being able to identify when they might professional help is so important.
The American Academy of Pediatrics issued updated guidelines for the first time in a decade in order to screen and better diagnose adolescent depression. While most adults are able to self-identify whether they are feeling depressed or morose, adolescents are not often mature enough to articulate these feelings. Read more of the article here and review these steps below if you feel your child may need professional help.
Keep the lines open: Ask questions without being critical. Although this sounds easier than it is, asking questions and just listening to your child may be what they need to open up to you about their feelings. Validating their feelings is so important, and although you my not agree with them, letting them know “Yes, I hear what you are saying” provides them with support they may need.
Find a therapist: A licensed and experienced child and adolescent Cognitive Behavioral Therapist can help identify what is going on with your child and provide effective treatment. Read more about our services here.
Talk to your community: If you feel something more is going on with your child than just “teenage angst” ask others in your community if they have noticed differences with your child. The school, teachers, friends, and other family may be able to provide insight on whether something more is going on with your child.
- therapy west staff