With rates of child depression and teen suicide soaring, there is a dire need of understanding what is happening with young boys and girls.
Parenting is not limited to providing material comforts and opportunities for learning. It also involves providing emotional support to children when they need it. Many teenagers break down during the college days. But the roots of such an incident are actually laid well before that age.
Teenagers go through a tough phase when they discover their real self and come to terms with their position in society. This is irrespective of caste, financial status or brilliance in a particular field.
Parental intervention at this stage in helping the teenager to come to terms with reality can play an effective role. Support and guidance needs to come when the teenager begins to contemplate of certain issues.
If support is not made available in the initial stages, it is likely that the situation may develop into one of clinical depression or denial. Later, parental teen depression help may not be sufficient and professional help may need to be sought.
There is a subtle difference between teen depression in boys and girls. Depression in boys is mostly dependent on moods. Girls tend to be more prone to depression due to the typical manner on which females process information and react to stimuli.
Parents need to guide their daughters to enable them to critically analyze the modern rules, some of them unspoken, of adolescence.
Girls are likely to be more emotional than boys. While boys tend to be casual about relationships that they develop with the opposite sex, girls tend to be more emotionally involved. This results in a disturbed state of mind when there is a break-up.
A friendly relationship with your daughter can help you explain to her about the various emotional upheavals you went through during your teenage, only to emerge happy and satisfied with your spouse.
It is difficult to generalize but mothers are better equipped to build up a friendly relationship with girls as they are likely to be open with mothers than with fathers for obvious reasons. However, close relationships between father and daughter is not an uncommon phenomenon.
The best way to develop a good relationship with the daughter is through patient listening. Talking about the various events at school, the pressures, stress and other events without being judgmental can help you identify early signs of depression.
Try to respect the child’s privacy and do not crowd her with too much inquisitiveness. Try to identify with her problem and let her know that you understand how difficult it can be. Also mention that all problems have a solution and they can be managed and solved.
An interesting study reveals that girls who smoke are at a 40% higher risk of developing depression. There is a great likelihood that smoking is an effort to self-medicate, just as drugs and alcohol, to get over depressive feelings.
Teenagers are very frugal in displaying their fears, sadness and resentment. It is only a keenly observant parent who can notice subtle signs of an impending problem.
While it is important for parents to learn about the risks and symptoms of teen depression in girls, they also need to learn about how to deal with it head-on.