A common question that parents encounter is, should I be worried about my teenager’s sad thoughts?
Any parent knows that teenagers can have all kinds of unique, interesting, strange and sometimes very sad thoughts.
Sadness versus Depression
Firstly, it is important to be able to differentiate between sadness and depression. Sadness is an emotion which we can feel after the loss of someone or something and tends to go away.
Depression is an illness. It is persistent and interferes with social activities, interests, schoolwork and family life. If you begin to notice some of these changes in your teenager, it may be worthwhile asking them about their sad thoughts and whether they feel as though these thoughts are occurring often.
How to discuss this topic with my teenager?
It can be difficult for adolescents to discuss these feelings with their parents, therefore, it is okay if your teenager doesn’t want to discuss this with you. In this situation, you can carefully mention to them that there are professionals who help adolescents just like them with these thoughts and that if they would like to see someone, you would gladly make an appointment for them.
Teenage depression should not be taken lightly and psychological help should be sought as soon as possible.
France Slattery, Clinical Psychologist
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