Helping a Depressed Teen Tip 1: Encourage Social Connection

 

One of the first steps to helping your child combat depression is to encourage as much socialization as possible. Depressed teens tend to withdraw from the outside world and that only increases their depression. Here are some ways to help in this regard:

Make face time a priority. Set aside time each day to talk—time when you’re focused totally on your teen, without distractions or trying to multi-task. The simple act of connecting face to face can play a big role in reducing your teen’s depression. And remember: talking about depression or your teen’s feelings will not make the situation worse, but your support can make all the difference in their recovery.

Combat social isolation. Do what you can to keep your teen connected to others. Encourage them to go out with friends or invite friends over. Participate in activities that involve other families and give your child an opportunity to meet and connect with other kids.

Get your teen involved. Suggest activities—such as sports, after-school clubs, or an art, dance, or music class—that take advantage of your teen’s interests and talents. While your teen may lack motivation and interest at first, as they reengage with the world, they should start to feel better and regain their enthusiasm.

Promote volunteerism. Doing things for others is a powerful anti-depressant and self-esteem booster. Help your teen find a cause they’re interested in and that gives them a sense of purpose. If you volunteer with them, it can also be a good bonding experience.

 

Ref. helpguide.org

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