1. Parenting

Video:How to Talk to Your Teen About Depression

with Patricia O'Laughlin

Learning how to talk to your teen about depression is an important skill if you feel that your teen may be in trouble.See Transcript

  • All Videos
  • All Parenting Videos
  • Parenting Teens Videos

Transcript:How to Talk to Your Teen About Depression

My name is Patricia O'Laughlin and I am a Marriage and Family Therapist with TherapyForParents.com.

Instructions for How to Talk to Your Teen About Depression

Today I am talking to you on behalf of About.com about how to talk to your teen about depression.

The first thing is to talk to your teen about depression as soon as you see signs of depression. Some signs of depression are: crying, a lot of crying; irritability – they get angry quickly; feelings of hopelessness – they say things a lot like "I can't do that" or "I'm never going to be good enough"; which also reflects low self esteem; they also might change moods very quickly; and they also might stay in their room a lot or refuse to go out with their friends; and you notice a big decrease in interests and things they used to find interesting no longer are interesting. When you see these signs, it's important to engage in a conversation and a discussion with your teen, not a lecture.

5 Points to Consider When Talking to Your Teen About Depression

And there are 5 things to consider that I'm going to share with you about what to talk about with your teen.

The first point is hopelessness: Is your teen feeling hopeless? Do they have thoughts of wanting to die? It's important to talk to them about this.

The second point is helping them have hope, telling them things are going to be okay, they're not going to feel this way forever, and making sure that they get help.

The third point is normalize it. Depression is very common. Help them understand that there are other people that feel this way - maybe you felt that way at some point before.

The fourth point is don't have judgment when you speak with them. Tell them: "I'm not judging you. I'm trying to support you right now."

The fifth point is reassure them that help is available, and then seek out the help they need, either through a therapist at school or a therapist in your community.

Thank you so much for watching. I know this is a difficult topic. If you need more information, tune into us on the web at About.com.
About videos are made available on an "as is" basis, subject to the User Agreement.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.