You are your teen's best advocate to help him or her succeed. Here are some steps you and your teen can take that may help:
Nov. 07, 2012
- Stick to the treatment plan. Make sure your teen attends appointments, even if he or she doesn't feel like going. Even if your teen is feeling well, make sure he or she continues to take medications as prescribed. If your teen stops taking medications, depression symptoms may come back. Quitting suddenly may cause withdrawal-like symptoms.
- Learn about depression. Education can empower your teen and motivate him or her to stick to a treatment plan. It can also benefit you and other loved ones to learn about your teen's depression and understand that it's a treatable condition.
- Encourage communication with your teen. Talk to your teen about the changes you're observing and emphasize your unconditional support. Create an environment where your child can share concerns while you listen.
- Pay attention to warning signs. Work with your teen's doctor or therapist to learn what might trigger depression symptoms. Make a plan so that you and your teen know what to do if symptoms get worse. Ask family members or friends to help watch for warning signs.
- Make sure your teen adopts healthy habits. Even light physical activity can help reduce depression symptoms. Sleeping well is important for all teens, especially those with depression. If your teen is having trouble sleeping, ask the doctor for advice.
- Help your teen avoid alcohol and other drugs. Your teen may feel like alcohol or drugs lessen depression symptoms, but in the long run they worsen symptoms and make depression harder to treat.
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