Life has changed dramatically for families across the country. As kids and teens experienced a shift that no one saw coming, they are now tasked with finding a new normal. Unfortunately, one of the outcomes of this change is kids feeling more blue than normal.
Some parents have found themselves wondering whether their child’s bad mood is actually more than a bad mood. A lot are asking questions like should I be concerned? Is it more than just him/her being upset? Should I find a counselor?
Let’s take a look at when it might be more than a bad mood and what parents can do about it.
When should parents worry?
It’s not uncommon for kids to be a little melancholic when things in their life change. With so much change already in their lives and much more to come it’s expected. The problem is this sometimes depression and anxiety diagnoses can be missed.
While it’s sometimes hard to know the line between a bad mood and depression, it’s important to keep an eye on your family and how they are managing.
Here are some warning signs that there is more going on than just a bad mood.
- Expressing feeling hopeless
- Feelings of sadness, which may include crying spells
- Sleeping much more or less than usual
- Having a hard time getting motivated to accomplish any tasks
- Frustration or anger, even over small things
- Feeling very lethargic
- Difficulty concentrating
These are just a few of the many signs that your child may be dealing with depression. If you fear that your child might be depressed, acting quickly can make a big difference in the way they feel.
What can parents do to help their child?
If you are concerned about the mental health of your child or teen it is important to reach out and get them help. There are many mental health practitioners that are experienced at working with young people to address their specific mental health needs. During this unusual and uncertain time, many are seeing their patients via telehealth.
In addition, you can take steps at home to help support the emotional wellness of your child or teen. Have regular conversations about how they are feeling is important. It also helps to talk with them about all of the changes going on in their world.
You can also help them adopt a self-care routine with everything from exercise and a healthy diet to stress management techniques or mindfulness. This will help give them the tools they need to manage their own physical and mental health.
Want to know more about teen depression and how you can help them? Check out this resource provided by the Mayo Clinic.