Teen Depression and Suicide: How to Talk To Your Adolescent
Written by WinGate Therapy, in Section Articles
What is the state of your troubled teen’s mental health?
All teens often suffer from stress, sadness, and depression to some extent, but are they are risk for suicide? If you’re the parent of a struggling teen, there’s a good chance they might be. That’s why it’s so important to talk to your teen about depression and suicide: you can open up the lines of communication, and encourage them to engage in more positive behaviors, and obtain some professional help.
Starting the Dialogue
When a teen is depressed, they are likely to have become more withdrawn, so the first step will be to start a dialogue with them, but this must be done with patience and care. Depressed teens are usually not responsive and don’t want to be lectured. So, in this case, “dialogue” between parent and teen doesn’t mean talking as much as it does a parent listening. Ask your teenager questions about their feelings, and when they’ve answered, you may have the opportunity to slip in a sentence or two of your own. They may not be responsive at first, but the truth is that they may actually want to talk, despite their objections.
In addition to attempting to get your teen to open up a little, it’s important to let them know that their feelings are valid. While the reality is that their perception of themselves is skewed and their self-worth may be fledgling, it is still very real to them, and they need to know that you respect what they’re going through.
Letting Them Know There’s Help.. And How To Find It
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