Genesee Counselling Services
Call Us : 1 (705) 503 3455
Youth Counselling is a unique branch of therapy that meets the client where they are at in order to assist them with their unique problems and further their ability to function in the classroom, with friends and with family. At Genesee we understand that youth today go through a large number of different and trying situations. Some include sexual frustration, bullying, anxiety and depression, and even suicidal thoughts. Our services are committed to working with youth to help them build effective and long lasting coping strategies in order for them to be confident and able to take on their fears and doubts.
Single Parent Homes
One common occurrence in our society today is single parent homes. This is not to say that parents who are single fathers and mothers fail to raise their children appropriately, however it is much more difficult in today's tough economy. Younger children often feel the effects of divorce and separation greater than the parents themselves and this can be lost on some parents. The repercussions can be difficult to accept and children and teens may become frustrated and confused and act out because of there new situation. It is important to recognize any signs that or changes in behaviour when a difficult life transition occurs for your child and be aware of the repercussions.
Parent's Guide to Teen Depression
Learn the Signs of Depression in Teens and How You Can Help!
Teenage depression isn’t just bad moods and the occasional melancholy—it’s a serious problem that impacts every aspect of a teen’s life. Teen depression can lead to drug and alcohol abuse, self-loathing and self-mutilation, pregnancy, violence, and even suicide. But as a concerned parent, teacher, or friend, there are many ways you can help. Talking about the problem and offering support can go a long way toward getting your teenager back on track.
Understanding teen depression
If you’re a teenager struggling with depression or you’d like to learn how to help a depressed friend, see Teenager's Guide to Depression.
There are as many misconceptions about teen depression as there are about teenagers in general. Yes, the teen years are tough, but most teens balance the requisite angst with good friendships, success in school or outside activities, and the development of a strong sense of self.
Occasional bad moods or acting out is to be expected, but depression is something different. Depression can destroy the very essence of a teenager’s personality, causing an overwhelming sense of sadness, despair, or anger.
Whether the incidences of teen depression are actually increasing, or we’re just becoming more aware of them, the fact remains that depression strikes teenagers far more often than most people think. And although depression is highly treatable, experts say only one in five depressed teens receive help. Unlike adults, who have the ability to seek assistance on their own, teenagers usually must rely on parents, teachers, or other caregivers to recognize their suffering and get them the treatment they need. So if you have an adolescent in your life, it’s important to learn what teen depression looks like and what to do if you spot the warning signs.
Signs and symptoms of teen depression
Teenagers face a host of pressures, from the changes of puberty to questions about who they are and where they fit in. The natural transition from child to adult can also bring parental conflict as teens start to assert their independence. With all this drama, it isn’t always easy to differentiate between depression and normal teenage moodiness. Making things even more complicated, teens with depression do not necessarily appear sad, nor do they always withdraw from others. For some depressed teens, symptoms of irritability, aggression, and rage are more prominent.
If you’re unsure if an adolescent in your life is depressed or just “being a teenager,” consider how long the symptoms have been present, how severe they are, and how different the teen is acting from his or her usual self. While some “growing pains” are to be expected as teenagers grapple with the challenges of growing up, dramatic, long-lasting changes in personality, mood, or behavior are red flags of a deeper problem.
The difference between teenage and adult depression
Depression in teens can look very different from depression in adults. The following symptoms of depression are more common in teenagers than in their adult counterparts:
Irritable or angry mood – As noted above, irritability, rather than sadness, is often the predominant mood in depressed teens. A depressed teenager may be grumpy, hostile, easily frustrated, or prone to angry outbursts.
Unexplained aches and pains – Depressed teens frequently complain about physical ailments such as headaches or stomachaches. If a thorough physical exam does not reveal a medical cause, these aches and pains may indicate depression.
Extreme sensitivity to criticism – Depressed teens are plagued by feelings of worthlessness, making them extremely vulnerable to criticism, rejection, and failure. This is a particular problem for “over-achievers.”
Withdrawing from some, but not all people – While adults tend to isolate themselves when depressed, teenagers usually keep up at least some friendships. However, teens with depression may socialize less than before, pull away from their parents, or start hanging out with a different crowd.
Effects of teen depression
The negative effects of teenage depression go far beyond a melancholy mood. Many rebellious and unhealthy behaviors or attitudes in teenagers are actually indications of depression. The following are some the ways in which teens “act out” or “act in” as an attempt to cope with their emotional pain:
Problems at school:
Depression can cause low energy and concentration difficulties. At school, this may lead to poor attendance, a drop in grades, or frustration with schoolwork in a formerly good student.
Many depressed teens run away from home or talk about running away. Such attempts are usually a cry for help.
Drug and alcohol abuse:
Teens may use alcohol or drugs in an attempt to “self-medicate” their depression. Unfortunately, substance abuse only makes things worse.
Depression can trigger and intensify feelings of ugliness, shame, failure, and unworthiness.
Teens may go online to escape their problems, but excessive computer use only increases their isolation, making them more depressed.
Depressed teens may engage in dangerous or high-risk behaviors, such as reckless driving, out-of-control drinking, and unsafe sex.
Some depressed teens—usually boys who are the victims of bullying—become violent. As is the case of the Columbine and Newtown school massacres, self-hatred and a wish to die can erupt into violence and homicidal rage.
Teen depression is also associated with a number of other mental health problems, including eating disorders and anxiety.