Resources for parents of at-risk and troubled teens.



October 2010

Preventing Teen Depression

by Staff, on at risk youth, preventing teen depression, risk factors of teen depression, teen depression, teen depression prevention, teen depression risk factors

There is no method that will guarantee the prevention of depression, but there are plenty of things you can do to greatly reduce the chances of teen depression. There are genetic causes of teen depression and life causes that surround us, obviously genetic ones cannot be changed, but we can influence the things around us to diminish the chances of depression episode.

In order to prevent teen depression we have to be aware of the risk factors involved and lower them to the best of our possibility. Again, some of these factors can be influenced while others can’t, like the history of family depression. Physical or mental disabilities are also great causes and risk factors for teen depression, as well as any major trauma and difficulties that surround us. In cases of teens, these are mostly friend and school related, or again, family issues.

In order to decrease the risk factors and chances of having a depression episode you should do the following:

-    Avoid any form of substance abuse
-    Avoid friends deemed to be a negative influence like those that suggest alcohol and drug abuse
-    Develop good relations with your friends, family and teachers to provide support
-    Learn to deal with stressful situations, like hard choices and changes
-    Avoid negative thoughts, but not in a way that will make you leave them aside, but by focusing on positive things as almost everything has a positive side
-    Avoid medication without doctor prescription
-    Get physical exercise as that relieves our body of stress
-    Get enough sleep, our body needs to be well rested
-    Find positive things in life, like special activities
-    Avoid things that trigger stress or anger or depression, like certain activities or even people
-    If you have any disorder seek immediate help

For parents that want to reduce stress environment and the possibility of teen depression we suggest the following:

-    If you have or have had depression seek help and set a good example for your child.
-    Practice positive discipline, harsh discipline stimulates stress and leads to depression
-    When trauma or loss occurs make sure to provide support, but if the grieving process seems to continue over a longer period of time, seek professional help
-    Encourage your teen to some positive activities, like exercise, eating right and avoiding bad crowds and substance abuse
-    Develop a positive relation with your teen and let him know that you are there to provide support at all times

As far as seasonal depression goes there is not much anyone can do about it except spending some time in the open. Fresh air and a bit of sun are well known to bring some positive thoughts back into our lives and are a natural cure for depression. Staff