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How do you cope with a depressed teen?(4 Posts)
Just wondered how other parents coped with a depressed teen. My focus has always been helping DS ie counselling, assessment for SEN and giving total support and long chats etc at the expense of my other DC and certainly at the expense of any life of my own but I am gradually realizing that whatever we do it may not improve in the next 3 years until after GCSEs and realistically not even then. How do you prevent it impacting on your own sanity and the rest of the family and stop the negativity impacting everything. I have always posted seeking help for DS but now reached the point where I need to know how to help us to live happily with DS even if we cant fully help him.
This is a hard one as worrying about an unhappy child is all consuming. Am bumping this and hoping someone has some practical advice
Thank you for bumping as I have given the last 13 years to getting necessary help medical and SEN and supporting DS and it has certainly been at the expense of the rest of the family. I don't want younger siblings to continue to suffer and feel I need to come to terms with the fact that there may not be a solution for him certainly not whilst in school as he doesn't want to home ed or change school. How do people cope?
Never been in your position but DS2 gets bouts of mild depression (ie no rason for them, low mood lasting for days or weeks.) It is very draining. But as I also suffer long term depression (which I manage very closely all the time so it doesn't impact on DC or family life) I have a lot of sympathy, and some practical tips.
I focus on very practical things, as I do for myself when I'm depressed. Make sure he has a daily shower - gentle but firm: 'I know you don't feel like it. You don't have to want one to have one. And you will feel and smell better afterwards.'
Make sure he has daily fresh air. Again gentle but firm. We're heading out to the shops/for a walk now, get your shoes on.' If he really can't (and depression does absolutely drain your energy like a vampire) then I set up a chair or blanket and cushions out doors and bundle him out there.
Monitor his media intake as much as possible. Aim for comedies not dark dramas, upbeat music not death metal and try to scale back too much gaming time.
If he will let you, sign him up for IESO online counselling or CBT self help MoodGym programme. They are better than talking therapy if you are introverted. They feel far less like stripping naked in front of a stranger.
Keep conversations about him and his mood to limits you can handle. When time's up, end the conversation with a big kiss, tell him I love him but need to focus on DS1/DH too as I love them too and they need attention as well.
Take other DC out on one-to-one day trips so you can really focus on them.
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