How to help your depressed teenager

Learning how to help someone fight depression can be a daunting task, and even more so when the person trying to overcome the condition is your teenager. Nowadays, depression in teenagers is a common occurrence, especially those who don’t “blend in” with others well.

Teen depression is typically caused by a feeling of inadequacy or a feeling of not fitting in with fellow peers. These include being unpopular or outright bullied, family’s perceived low status in society, getting poor grades, and in the case of teenage boys, being non-athletic and weak, or in the case of teenage girls, not having the “right” body type as portrayed by movies and beauty ads. Sexual preferences can also play a significant part in teen depression.

Common signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for include loss of interest in activities, constant feelings of gloom and helplessness, keeping to oneself and eating/sleeping too much or too little. Some teenagers might also turn to drugs or alcohol to overcome their feelings of being constantly depressed, as these are a form of outlet for their frustration or feelings of loneliness.

Trying to figure out how to help someone with depression is not easy, especially if you as the parent or guardian of the teenage sufferer have personally never suffered from severe depression. As a parent or guardian, your support is vital. Do not criticize your teenager for their feelings. Talk to them, and more importantly, listen to them. Help them understand that the awkwardness they are feeling is simply a temporary phase in life.

If you believe that your child is suffering from depression, try to get professional help immediately. Left untreated, the condition may persist into adulthood, leading to a potentially bleak future for the sufferer, or it may even lead to an early suicide. Seeking early treatment is one of the best ways to help someone with depression. Treatments include prescription medication as well as counselling. Attending some of the counselling sessions together with your teenager will show them that you care, and aid them in sharing their feelings.

The question of how to help someone with depression, when that someone is a teenager still finding their way in life, is not easy to answer. Being a teenager comes with its own set of problems, particularly when you are perceived to be just a little different from your peers. Without a fully developed coping mechanism yet, your teenager will rely on you for support. Remember that, and do not reject their verbal or silent pleas for help.

0 thoughts on “How to help your depressed teenager

  1. Exercising and taking my medication has aided me greatly. Contributing to the welfare of other people by volunteering appears to be an excellent way to focus on constructive events which pulls me outside of myself.

  2. Consider a while to review the constructive issues concerning the day and maintain looking for those numerous solutions to the most puzzling issues. I discovered that every day meditation and a lengthy walk each day helps me to solve the tough problems.

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  4. A very good read and helpful for me as I suffer from depression as well. I was especially interested in the herbal remedies and I think il try and look at my local H&B store for Ashwagandha.


  5. I still need help because Im afraid to discuss it with my family I answered yes to all of those signs except 1 or 2 and I also tried to talk to my friends but they don’t take me seriously

    • I’ll listen to you anytime you need. you can also find me on facebook under todd michael osborne. my pic is of pac man.

    • Perhaps the people who don’t take you seriously are not the ones who are going to help you get out of depression. If you are serious about managing depression, find help from someone who cares enough to support you.

  6. really i enjoyed reading this topic it is rich in informations and covers all the questions we want to ask. I recognize that i’m in one of depression stages i became horrible no one can handle me my mood is unstable and most of the timd i’m nervous shouting and taking bad decisions which make me regret for taking it my family are the most affected people. I feel discomfort in gathering and there i feel that i’m stranger, i don’t intervene alot in cònversations and i keep my mouth close and also feel that i’m neglected and worthless and geallous from the nearest people in my life. Really all these affect my thoughts and my life i need help i knew the magnitude of my problem and i don’t want to retreat so please advice me more and more thanks

    • Hello sheryl,

      I have been battling depression because of my partner’s many betrayals. I would love to talk to you about it.

      Please respond back to me here, so we can empathize with each other.

  7. I am always thinking about suicide I am a failure , useless and worthless , I never did any thing that can be of a good outcome , always source of noise and disruption , no passion in life and very annoying
    can you help me

    • you control your thoughts but your depression compound when you are having a bad day as a normal functioning human your favourite dinner or tv show might ‘cheer you up’.a bad day with depression means you cant physically see a reason to get out of bed!you think what is the point in being here because your life seems worthless.and the more you stay in bed the more worthless your life get caught in a viscious circle and cant get out.even if you do get out its still turning right behind you sucking you back in!!so you fight daily just to ‘cheer up’!! so I know I control my own thoughts but the chemicals in my brain also get their say!

  8. I really like your article. It is to the point and has some great advice. My particular area of interest is changing mindset and getting people active. I think that when people get active they give themselves a rest from negative thoughts at least whilst they are exercising.

    • Thanks Annette I believe the more information and knowledge we deliver to people the more likely they are to identify and understand the causes of depression.

  9. Everywhere i go on the web for tips on dealing with depression have one thing in commen. Always saying use your support system(friends,family,etc..). Well I dont have one. The only family I’m really in touch with are my grandparents who are stating to show signs of altheimers and dementia so they really can’t help me, and as for friends I really don’t have any. What does someone without a support system do?

  10. I have battled depression my whole life too and these are excellent suggestions. The thing is, when you are very depressed you don’t really feel like exercising or eating well. But it is crucial, and one thing that should be motivating is you need to be there for your loved ones. Once you get back on track you will find other interests to keep you going as well.

  11. I know how it is. I have dealt with depression before many times. But it is crucial to take good care of your body and eat fruits and vegetables, and get some exercise. Even for 5 minutes a day, at first. It does help. The better you feel, the more likely you will keep up good habits to make you feel less depressed and happier.

  12. I have never heard of cashews as being a remedy for depression. This is good to know. I know for myself as a sufferer to keep some on hand. I love those too.

  13. I have found that after taking Omega 3 supplements my state of mind has been better. In fact Omega 3 is very good for your brain in general so it is no surprise it would help reduce depression.

  14. Exercise is actually one thing you can do to lessen the symptoms of depression. I know in my case it has helped and when you are depressed it is very hard to get that extra push but if you truly want to get better you need to push yourself. Think about why life is worth living and if we all dig deep down we will find it.

  15. Exercise is so crucial when dealing with depression. Going for a brisk walk raises serotonin levels. You may not be happy-go-lucky-sunshine after taking a nice fast pace walk but you will definitely feel better and feel you can at least face the world to a degree.

  16. While you are not there to ever invalidate your feelings and condition, sometimes visiting a homeless shelter or hospital can shift things in perspective for you. I know that when I was going through my bout of depression my therapist suggested that and it did not of course cure it, but I realized that even though I was dealing with depression, I started to count my blessings and it really did help a lot.

  17. Networking with other sufferers of depression who are looking to make their lives better also helps as they can give you tips and suggestions what has helped them, as well as the support you need.

  18. The last thing you want to do when in a dark hole due to depression is to pamper yourself, but it really does help lift the clouds. I am not talking about getting a huge sundae which will make things worse. Go get a manicure or haircut, it helps a lot.

  19. I actually did visit a homeless shelter on purpose while going through a depressing time of my life. It made me feel even worse in the end. I felt ashamed for being depressed while seeing those who had the reason to be depressed basically going about their business.

  20. I agree, Omega 3’s help so much. I have found myself feeling better in general after taking it for a few months.

  21. I am prone to depression myself and I do everything I can to keep myself busy all of the time. I may suffer from it still and still have that down feeling meaning I am not “happy”. But overall I am active and busy and purposely keep the depression from getting the best of me.

  22. Counting your blessings helps but that alone does not erase it. Depression is an illness that needs to be professionally treated by methods other than looking at the good things in life. It takes work to do too.

  23. Diet and exercise play a huge role on fighting depression. Stay away from refined sugars and transfats. That makes things worse.

  24. Negative patterns are a killer. That will keep you in a downward spiral. If you do one positive thing for 5 minutes a day to start things start looking up such as eating vegetables and even doing a 5 minute workout to start.

  25. I have battled depression for 15 years unresponsive to multiple drug regimens and even ECT. It is difficult for love-ones to fully understand the paralyzing impact this entity has. Do you think that I wake up each morning wanting to feel sad? I try to keep busy but this debilitating illness is always lurking in the back-ground. I would give absolutely anything, anything to rid myself of this mind-set.

  26. Depression can really be paralyzing. I understand that. But in order to get better you have to want it. If you don’t want it things will just keep getting worse and worse. I do feel it is necessary to talk to a therapist who can keep you on track and help you remain accountable for making positive changes within yourself in order to overcome the depression such as eating well and exercising, and talking to others. All crucial to do for your well being.

  27. I do feel talking to therapists who specialize in depression can help keep you on track, and helping you remain accountable for your actions you need to take to rise above it. If a past issue such as a break up is still affecting you so deeply I do agree that seeking help is necessary.

  28. It is crucial to get enough sleep. I bet many cases of depression is due to lack of sleep. I know in my case it was and when I was getting between 7-8 hours of proper sleep the depression was a lot less.

  29. More and more people should take up yoga and meditation classes. It teaches you so many excellent relaxation methods and it may not help cure depression but when you learn how to utilize yoga and meditation, along with getting enough sleep, life is more manageable.

  30. Make sure you eat nutritious foods, and drink lots of water. Do not drink soda and lay off of the sugars. Get plenty of sleep. It helps!

  31. Pets do help. I know that when I got my dog, my depression was not nearly as severe and I also took care of myself. Do as many positive things as you can and the depression will be fought.

  32. Omega 3’s definitely help in regards to depression. It helps raise serotonin levels naturally. Exercise and a proper diet is a must too like the article had stated. Depression is real but it is treatable.

  33. I would say canning the processed stuff and going organic is going to help your depression decrease a lot. It does not cure it but it helps.

  34. Sugar is a killer. I really do endorse organic foods. I don’t think it is necessary to go vegan but if you want to get healthy, physically and mentally, go organic.

  35. Nancy, it does help. I have found as soon as I stopped eating sugars and processed carbs and went organic, including taking Omega 3 supplements, it helped so much!

  36. Get close to family and friends. Express your true feeling to your doctor. Although relieving, DO NOT SELF MEDICATE with alcohol/drugs. This will make your situation worse, trust me I’ve ben down that road. Keep faith in the Lord.

  37. I believe I have depression, though I have not gone to the Dr to have it diagnosed. I have a wonderful family but I am also miserable because I have no sex life. My wife had a hysterectomy a number of years ago which pretty much ended the sex. I have 3 kids that are wonderful and never get into trouble. I find myself getting drowsy driving home from work and any time I sit down. I have to stay active or I get moody. I don’t know what else to say except please pray for me.

  38. I have been battling depression medication free for the last few years.I have good days and bad days,but recently its been a lot more bad.I tried all the suggestions listed above in the past but I am currently injured and so cant exercise,my husband is out of work and so we dont have money to go out and do nice things,I have to stay in my job even though i know it is the main route of my depression due to difficult work relationships.I recently had my 2 closest friends turn their backs on me because of my depression and they were sick of listening to me moan!My husband has a teenage son who has recently started shouting at me and disrepecting me.I live a long way from family and try not to worry them.I know its a rut,but when everything hits together its hard to get through it.I work in healthcare and I see the stigma associated with medicating for depression-but i feel I need the extra help.I dont want my colleagues to know if iv been medicated but I could lose my job if I dont disclose it…..what to do??

  39. I believe i have depression. I have not seen a doctor to be certain. But i am finding it harder to see why i am still here. I am a college student and these past couple weeks have not been the best and i don’t know why because the work hasn’t changed much. I find myself thinking suicidal thoughts on and off for a few years now. I try my best to find little stuff to keep me from thinking, but at the end i always end up not being able to sleep and just becoming extremely sad…

  40. depression is the hardest part of takes time coping up with when you have a feeling like this but i have this product that can relieve depression in just a while,not only that,it can also remove tension, pain,stress and etc;try using our product and you will see by yourself its true. Here are the links.

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  41. I have suffered with depression for decades. Medications certainly help but you don’t always get on the right meds the first try. Realize that there are many good anti depression (AD) meds out there. If the one you’re presently taking doesn’t work for you or worked for a while and pooped out let your doctor know. They understand the pharmacology of the meds and knowing that medication “A” doesn’t work will help them prescribe something that does work. Speaking as a person that has taken several different AD’s over the years, I’m saying that there’s probably an AD out there that will help you. A lot. If you don’t have faith in your doctor or don’t like him get a new one. People switch therapist and doctors all the time.

    I think the one thing that has always made me feel better is exercise. Joining the Y or a gym, taking the group classes or getting a trainer would be great but not everyone can do that. Taking a brisk walk or maybe even not so brisk depending on what kind of shape your in, will make you feel better. I’m in a cold climate and it makes me feel warmer for a few hours after exercise.

    If you are suffering from depression and you can walk, just getting some exercise is the fastest picker-upper I know of. (seems like getting in to see a doc can take a month or more, and then the meds take weeks to kick in)

    My brain works better, I get more done, feel warmer etc. if I get some kind of exercise early in the day. I feel better, look better and I’m more productive when I exercise regularly and that helps my mood a lot.

    If you’re reading this you probably are hurting in one way or another. I wish you the best and hope you’re feeling better soon. You KNOW I know how you feel.

  42. What if I’m the one their avoiding, it seems that dont like me to go along wherever they go or if they have gigs. Its so really hard for me so what I do, i avoid them first so they won’t have the hard time on avoiding me but it really hurts me and it sucks coz they were all my friends before so I always end up crying…I don’t want to feel this anymore but also I dont want to force my self to them… sorry just end up in your column..thanx anyways

  43. I think i am depressded. Im not the joyful fun loving bubbly person i used to be… I wake up late coz i feel i dont want to face the world. I feel im under so much pressure and that im a big disappointment.

  44. I’m suffering from depression amd have been for years. I’m seeing a counselor,but it really isn’t helping much. I hate myself. I’m fat, I’m getting old now with numerous health problems. I have had so many family problems over the years that it is just hard to cope. I have one son who is addited to meth. He has almost died 3 times. Once was from being stabbed in the neck, he die on the operating table but they were able to save him. He had lost all his blood and since his heart wasn’t able to pump oxegen to the brain he isn’t the same. His dad (whom I have been divorced from for 9 years is an acoholic) and him live together in filth, and it really depresses me. I’m afraid my son is going to die from a drug overdose. This is only the beginning. I could write a book about drive-by shooting at our house and on and on. It neverstops. I’m sitting here now itching all over my body, no rash it has to be nerves or something. I need God’s help.

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