Teen Depression and Co-Vid: Stay Vigilant

Everyone is bummed about the co-vid situation, but when does sadness become clinical depression? Teen depression has always been a concern for parents. Now that teens are locked down, isolated, and missing important milestones, it’s becoming a secondary crisis.

An October 2020 study found that the anxiety and stress surrounding the pandemic may lead to the development or worsening of a variety of mental health disorders, including depression.

Parenting Teens During Co-vid: Is Your Child Coping?

We must regularly check in with our kids during this crisis. Even if your kids seem fine, sit them down to talk about teen issues. Some kids will attempt to hide their feelings about the co-vid crisis because they know their parents are already stressed. Let it be known that your kids are welcome to share anything they feel.

It’s a parent’s duty to watch for signs of depression during this difficult time. Don’t assume you’re being overly cautious. While it’s important to give our teens space to grieve and process what’s happening, we also must be vigilant about mental health.

Signs of teen depression include:

  • Lasting feelings of sadness, irritability, or hopelessness.
  • Avoiding interaction with peers or family in ways that go beyond normal social distancing.
  • A loss of interest in fun activities.
  • Changes in sleeping or eating patterns.
  • Problems with memory or focus.
  • Academic struggles, especially for teens who usually do well.
  • A failure to manage personal hygiene.
  • Substance abuse or other dangerous behaviors.
  • Thoughts or talk about suicide or death.

Everyone gets down once in a while, but if any of these symptoms last for two weeks or longer, you might be dealing with teen depression.

Co-vid and Teens: What Should You Do if You Notice Signs of Depression?

The first thing you should do is make it known that you get how your teen feels. It’s important your teen understand their feelings aren’t a burden. They should always feel comfortable coming to you to talk.

If your teen’s depression doesn’t improve, it might be necessary to reach out to your family doctor for advice. In the meantime, monitor the situation closely. Do your best to help your teen find things they’re grateful for. Even in a situation as tough as this, there’s always positives. Listing out things you’re all thankful for is a beneficial activity you can do as a family.

Staying physically active will also help teen issues with depression. Encourage exercise at home, and go on walks or hikes together as a family if you can. A variety of activities are still possible even with social distancing rules in place.

Are you struggling with parenting teens during co-vid? My online mentoring services can help. Contact me today to learn more about co-vid and teens, mental health, and strong self-esteem.

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