I really, really don’t miss my teenage years.
Do you miss yours?
I can’t imagine that my parents much miss my teenage years either. I can’t say that I was the best behaved teen in the world..
I must admit, I don’t have any teenagers now. My kids are all under ten. But I remember the recklessness, the rebelliousness, the feeling that the world would end at any minute. So here are my seven tips for when your teen is depressed. I’ll say at the outset, though, if you feel your child needs professional help, get it! Don’t hesitate.
7 Tips for When Your Teen is Depressed
So, sleep is a bit of a catch-22. Depression often leads to laying in bed and sleeping all day. Laying in bed all day isn’t what you’re looking for, but you do want to encourage your teen to get enough quality sleep.
A lack of sleep can also lead to major problems and is a symptom of depression in itself.
Try to convince your teen that she needs quality sleep. This means 9 – 11 hours of sleep in a cool, black, silent room. Teens chronically don’t get enough sleep, thinking they can survive on 8 hours or less. Most folks can’t do that, including adults.
Here’s some more info on how to sleep from the Paleo Mom.
2) Exercise and Get Outside
I will keep my stereotypical picture of a teenager playing video games 24-7 to myself. We all know that isn’t fair. But if your teen isn’t getting enough vitamin O, it could lead to a lot of problems.
Exercise has been shown to successfully treat mild to moderate depression because the brain produces endorphins and enkephalins, which are feel good chemicals. Of course, there are a host of other benefits to regular regular exercise, such as reducing stress, boosting self esteem and improved sleep, which you know by now is crucial.
3) The Dark Side of Antidepressants
I do want to believe that they also help many people, but too many have had severe side effects when taking antidepressants, including anxiety, weight gain, night tremors, feelings of sadness, distress and suicidal thoughts. From antidepressants!
Here is a show you really must hear from Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness on this topic. It’s a real eye-opener.
4) Essential Nutrients
Sometimes depression is linked to a nutritional deficiency. Here are some of the nutrients that are most commonly missing:
- Essential fatty acids – They aid in the transmission of nerve impulses and are needed for normal brain function.
- 5 Hydroxytryptophan (5HTP) – This boosts the production of serotonin, a critical mood influencer. Too little may lead to depression. Don’t use this with an antidepressant.
- S-adenosylmehionine (SAMe) – This has been shown to reduce depression. Don’t use this with an antidepressant.
- Vitamin Bs – They are crucial for the normal function of the brain and nervous system.
The best way to get any nutrient is through the diet, but sometimes, when there is a problem, this isn’t enough. You can find supplements at a great price here.
5) Trigger Foods
The biggest culprits tend to be gluten, caffeine and sugar. Yeah, I know, the three food groups of most teenager’s diets. Gluten and caffiene have been linked to depressive disorders. Sugar releases energy so quickly that it can be quickly followed by fatigue and depression. To to get you teen off of these foods for even a week or two to try it out.
6)Is Depression Really Caused by Low Serotonin?
7) GET HELP
If you suspect that your teen has severe depression or is suicidal. Your local emergency care can help or dial 1-800-273-TALK.
I hope that this has been helpful. I would love to know what you think in the comments section below. Have you cured depressive symptoms with food or supplements alone?