‘I Think My Son Is Depressed’: What Do I Do Now?
‘I Think My Son Is Depressed’: What Do I Do Now?When you’re thinking, “My son is depressed,” it’s usually followed by, “But what do I do?” You’re not alone. Many parents struggle with what to do when they begin to recognize something isn’t going well with their child’s mental health.
What causes depression?Many things can cause depression. It’s usually not one specific thing, but a combination of a bunch of different factors. In treatment, teens are usually dealing with more than just depression. For example, they may be getting cyberbullied, which has led to low self-esteem and issues with depression. A host of issues can be at the root of depression:
- Hormones, Hormones, Hormones. Puberty can cause some pretty weird stuff to start going on–it can actually trigger some mental health issues to develop, such as depression.
- Biology. For some, there’s a chemical imbalance or abnormality that can cause depression to develop.
- Early Trauma. If your son or daughter has experienced a childhood trauma, their chances of developing depression down the road are much higher. A trauma could be considered anything from being bullied to getting in a car crash to losing a loved one.
- Unknown Learning Impairments. Learning disabilities, especially untreated ones, can lead to some pretty serious self esteem issues–which in turn can trigger depression to blossom.
‘How do I tell if my son is depressed or not?’Recognizing the differences between usual teen angst and depression can sometimes be seemingly impossible. Many parents say, “I think my son is depressed, but I’m not sure.” It’s common to struggle with this, but if you’re worried, it’s better to be safe than sorry and just reach out to a professional. If something seems very strange or alarming, it’s probably not just “teen angst”–but here’s a list of possible symptoms to help in identifying whether your child has depression:
- Changes in sleep patterns, such as not getting enough sleep or getting too much
- Frequently tired or out of energy
- Sudden change in appetite, such as large increase or decrease in food intake
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Restlessness or anxiety, such as an inability to sit still
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Intense feelings of hopelessness or emptiness
- Frequently annoyed or irritable mood
- Often frustrated or angry over small issues
- Feelings of sadness, sometimes paired with crying spells for “no reason”
- Loss of interest in activities usually found pleasurable
- Low self-esteem
- Obsession with past failures or extreme self-blaming