Acknowledging depression among our youth
It is interesting, that in a time where many families are forced to spend more time in the presence of each other, that words which are defining our general experiences are not always positive. Camaraderie and intimacy, fellowship and laughter, seem to be the experience of some. The majority would rather use words like stressed, anxious, overwhelming, frantic, harrassed, or depressing. If you are interested, check out this very interesting article: “Flattening the mental health curve is the next big coronavirus challenge“. We must pay attention to the consequences, and must also understand and respect that mental health challenges are real and not always immediately discernable.
The following video clip (3:43m) highlights how you can identify if a teen is struggling with depression. The five symptoms are listed below.
- Continuous low mood or sadness
- Being irritable and intolerant of others
- Showing feelings of helplessness
- Increasing social isolation
- Little or no enjoyment of things you once loved
Regrettably, parents can play a role in increasing the anxiety levels children and teens experience. I have pushed my stress onto my children, particularly my daughter. I have not wanted her to fall behind with her school work, and with the added pressure of trying to maintain my own work output, I was not always gentle in dealing with her. The following video clip (6:04m) lists ways in which parents communicate toxically with their children.
- Offensive words to their appearance
- Provocative questions towards actions
- Selfish wishes
- Making a child feel like a burden
- Unhealthy comparisons
- Verbally abusive words or statements
- Threatening abandonment
- Empty promises
How do we counter (a) the rise of depression amongst people, and (b) the feelings of guilt parents can face?
- Warren and I are in the process of idenitfying the right specialists to refer people struggling with mental health to. Contact us directly for more information.
- Understand that we have a loving Father to whom we can find healing and shelter. Turn to God in this time.
- Accept those times where we as people (children, teens and parents) fail, and find forgiveness in the Cross. Jesus has covered all our mistakes, and provides us with the strength to work toward healing and restoration.