Author Glenda L. Hunter

Author Glenda L. Hunter

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Teen Depression

Depression is a real thing. We seem to have very little problem in believing that adults suffer from being depressed but what about children. It does not surprise me that children also suffer from being depressed. We as a society put a lot of pressure on children to be little adults. Wake up they are not little adults. I also have been guilty of expecting my children and grandchildren to act like little adults. They need to be perfect, right? Wrong they need to be children. I do think they need to be well behaved but they need time to run and play. They need to let their imaginations run wild in discovery. They should not have to struggle with decisions that an adult should be making for them. What about peer pressure? I know that can be a damaging thing but today it seems worse. I think it is highly due to social media. The child that might never say anything in person might blow up different avenues of social media about a person, than the whole world sees. One quick action may cause a child to suffer for a long time to come. They might suffer great pain in silence for a long time before the problem is discovered.  Also peer pressure happens to children at school the ones that look and act different. The verbal abuse they suffer becomes unreal. What about those that aren't making the grades everyone thinks they should? What harassment they go through because they get labeled stupid. This is not just among the students some teachers facilitate this by the words they choose to use to the students. We all need to be careful what words we use they can be very damaging. After this goes on for a prolonged period depression can set in and we might have never realized there was even a problem. Some children never say anything they choose to live with the inner torment in silence. What if it is a family situation? In divorced families (not all by any means) one parent might be angry at the other for what has happened and they take it out on the child. Who wants to say anything in a situation like that, not to many children I know. They love both of their parents, so not a word will they speak. From the outside everything appears great but not on the inside. Then the child begins to change.
            There are a number of signs to watch for that indicates that your child has a problem that needs attention. The first thing you probably would notice is changed behavior. Other things you might want to beware of is change in appetite from not having one to over eating, change in their social life, wanting to sleep all the time or complaining that they can't sleep and not wanting to go to a certain classes or hang with certain people. Or a very popular child might all of a sudden complain about not having any friends. I understand that some of these things can be just a stage they are going through but if it is a prolonged pattern than you need to investigate. Be active in your child's life. Talk to them and see if you can get to the bottom of the issue, if they will not talk to you than get them someone to talk to. Don't play the blame game, play the action game. Your child is the important one right now. If depression goes untreated it can turn into suicidal thinking. Also don't rule out the fact it can be a chemical imbalance as well, if that is the case it also needs treated.
My suggestion is to really make it a matter of prayer, ask others to pray, and seek professional help if needed. There are trained people out there that love the Lord. Find the one that fits your child's personality the best. Talk to the counselor first to see what you think, then you and your child talk to them and see what the child thinks, then make a decision. After the decision is made listen to your child and see if there starts to be changes in a positive way. It might take a little while, damage to a child doesn't happen overnight it will not get fixed overnight. Keep praying for both your child and the counselor. Help your child feel safe in talking to you about everything, don't be judgmental just listen. Some things might be hard to hear but allow them to be spoken then the two of you can work through whatever the situation. Getting to the root of the problem can and will bring healing. The important thing is to keep open and listen with your heart as well as your ears. Always remember that child loves you. You love them. God loves you both. Allow God to help you both find the healing needed for the hurt that causes the depression. May God direct you in the right paths.

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