While it may seem that the carefree teenage years should be some of the best times of your child’s life, many teens find that depression impedes enjoyment of their adolescence. If your teen suffers from depression, counseling could be the solution to his woes. With counseling, your teen can work through the issues that underlie his depressive state and help build a brighter, and happier, future.
Signs of Depression
While depression is largely an internal issue, teens who struggle with depression commonly give off signs. If you worry that your teen may be depressed, watch for signs that include crying for no reason, withdrawal from friends and family members, talk of death or changes in eating habits. If you see these signs, voice your concerns to his doctor to ensure that your teen’s potential depression doesn’t go unchecked.
Benefits of Counseling
Counseling is a highly effective way for teens to deal with depression. By taking part in counseling, teens can lead ways to cope with their negative feelings, explore solutions to problems they face and learn how to better voice their emotions. Counseling also ensures that your teen doesn’t keep his upset bottled up, as doing so could have dire consequences.
The First Step
Because counseling can have such a serious impact on your teen, counseling should only be performed by a trained professional under the guidance of a doctor. If you think your teen would benefit from counseling, the first step to acquiring this therapeutic assistance is speaking to your teen’s general physician. This professional can refer you to a counselor.
A number of different professionals could act as a counselor to your teen. The type of counselor that your teen sees will depend on several factors, including the severity of his symptoms and your medical insurance. Medical professionals approved for the counseling of depressed teens include social workers, licensed mental health counselors, adolescent psychologists or psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses.
A Family Affair
In many cases, teen counseling sessions include not only the depressed teen, but also other members of the family. By joining in your teen’s counseling sessions, you can work on relationship building, deal with family issues that may be at the root of your teen’s struggles or help increase your understanding of the challenges your teen faces, allowing you to be a more sympathetic partner in recovery.