Teen Depression: Know the Warning Signs

High school can be hard for anyone; it doesn’t matter if your teen is the captain of the cheerleading squad or the chess club.

There are many factors into teens becoming depressed like lack of self-esteem, bullies, hormones or an unfortunate event.

Here are 5 signs that your teen may be depressed:

Chooses to stay home: Teens typically spend their youth hanging out with friends, going to movies and the mall or over to a friend’s house. If your teen has been choosing to stay home and without friends, this could be a sign they aren’t happy. It’s normal for a teen to go through friendship changes but if you think it is something more, talk to your teen.

Change in clothing and hygiene: This could go either way, if your teen stops taking care of their appearances or they drastically become obsessed with their appearance and hygiene these could be signs your teen is depressed. Teens often use clothing and makeup to express themselves and when they start to let themselves go, it’s because they don’t care about themselves. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if your teen starts to overdue the makeup, hair and clothing –it’s not just a trend, it’s a sign they are feeling the need to present themselves in a dramatic fashion to gain attention from anyone.

Extreme mood swings: Yes, hormones can be the reason for mood swings but not all of it. If you teen goes from being extremely happy and then straight to sad in a matter of moments, your teen could be depressed. Depressed teens do not how to express themselves and handle pain and when they are experiencing that pain, their reactions reflect so.

Grades slipping: Grade slipping is the first and easiest sign to every teacher and parent that a teen may be having difficulty, such as depression. Depression can consume one’s mind to where studying becomes hard and concentration difficult, resulting in bad grades. This is why it is important to always check your child’s progress reports and to meeting with their teachers.

Loss of friends: Teens will fight with friends but tend to get over their problems fast. Your child with gain and lose friends because it is just how life works, but if you notice that your child’s closest friends are not around, something could be wrong.

It is hard to tell if a teen is depressed or not because of the growing, learning and hormones but when in doubt, talk. Talk to you teen if you see any of these signs and consult a professional for help. Depression runs deep and could take time to heal. Talk and keep an eye on your teen and remember that this too shall pass.

Special contributor: Kelsey is the editor in chief for www.findananny.net/. She loves to write article and ideas that parents & nannies would be interested in hearing. She helps society on giving information about nannies through nanny services. She is a professional writer & loves writing on anything.

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Teen Help: Struggling Teens and Searching for Help

Especially during the holiday season, this can be one of the hardest decisions a parent can make.  The Internet can make it twice as confusing!

Sending a child to a residential program/school is a major decision. It is not one to be taken lightly or to be decided on overnight.

Usually a teen’s behavior has been slowly escalating and a parent knows that deep down things are not getting better.  As much as you hope and pray that things will change, this is only typical teen behavior, sometimes it just isn’t.

With drug use and substance abuse rising – more dangerous and deadly ingredients being used, such as spice and inhalants, parents have reason to be concerned.  It isn’t your marijuana of generations prior – it is so much worse and in many cases – addictive and deadly.

If you have reached your wit’s end and now surfing the Internet for help, remember, anyone can build a website.  Anyone can put up nice pictures and create great content.  You need to do your due diligence.

Years ago I struggled with my own teenager.  I was at my wit’s end.  I didn’t realize what a big business this “teen help industry” was.  Yes, my child needed help, but what we received was anything but that.  My story is a cautionary tale – not one to scare you into not using a program, however on the contrary, you have to get your child help, but you have to do your research in getting them the right help.

Here are some quick tips:

  • Your child is not for sale, try to avoid those marketing arms selling you a list of programs that are not in the best interest of your child’s individual needs.
  • Always speak with an owner or director – Someone that has a vested in your teen’s recovery.  Their reputation is on the line.
  • Wilderness and other short term programs are usually nothing more than a band-aid that will fall off as quickly as the program lasted.  They are expensive camping trips and in most cases the Wilderness program will tell you at about 4 weeks that your teen will need to continue on to a longer term program.  What? Yes, now you go back to the research board and worse than that, your teen will be deflated when he finds out he/she isn’t coming home in 6-9 weeks as they were lead to believe – and they will be starting all over again with a new therapist – new schedule – and new setting.  Don’t get caught up in this “shuffle.”  Start and finish with the same school/program.
  • The average stay should be about 6-9-12 months, depending on your teen.  Anything less is probably non-effective.  Anything more, you may be creating abandonment issues in my opinion.
  • Do you really need an Educational Consultant?  Absolutely not.  You are the parent and no one knows your teen better than you do – with a few tips, you will be able to make some sound choices.

For more helpful hint and tips, please contact www.HelpYourTeens.com for a free consultation. After the ordeal I went through, I created this advocacy organization to help educate parents on finding safe and quality programs.

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Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff: Text Messages that Harm – Update on Josie Ratley

When tragedy hits our community, it can be a shocking and stunning  event that brings everyone together. The beating of Josie Lou Ratley, Michael Brewer who was nearly burned to death by other teens, Anthony Jones  in Duval County, who was shot after being a victim of text hit lists that were flying, and Cameron Lee Kage who is accused of making a bomb to set off at his school in Brevard County,  all are part of a wake-up call to what our schools and teens are facing today.

Text RAGE is exploding and it is time that schools, teachers, parents and students along with their community ban together to stop this bullying and violence.

The text messages were recently revealed that prompted 15 year-old Wayne Treacy to literally beat Josie Ratley, an eighth grader, nearly to death.  After three surgeries, she is in rehabilitation.  

Just hours prior the brutal beating of Josie Lou Ratley, vicious text messages were flying. According to the Sun-Sentinel, “Snap her neck then stomp her skull. Fastest way I could think of,” read one of the texts, which were released Wednesday in discovery in the court case against 15 year-old Wayne Treacy.

Another text message sent from Treacy’s phone prior to the beating reads: “This bxtch ran her mouth bout my bro who she knew is dead. Nao I want her head.”

These texts prompted one of the most heinous forms of teen violence.  Wayne Treacy, allegedly, with the help of his girlfriend, 13 year-old Kayla Manson, tracked down Josie Ratley and carried out what his text stated.  With steel toed boots, he stomped her skull.  Thankfully teacher Walter Welsh intervened just in time.

Whether you are in Broward, Dade, Palm Beach, Brevard, St. John’s or Duval County, you need to learn more about your school climate

When bad things happen to good people, we need to take the bad and find the positive.  Education is key to prevention of violence.  Take the time to form an anti-bullying organization and measure your School Climate by contacting The Center for Social and Emotional Education
 

Related articles:

Myths of Bullying
Bullying Bystanders or Bullying Busters
Michael Brewer a Voice of Determination to Stop School Violence
Dangers of Texting and Sexting

Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff: Anger Management and Your Teens

I don’t care what you say I am doing what I want to do! I hate you and you just don’t want me to have fun!”

All my friends are allowed to stay out late; you are mean and want to ruin my life!”

“You have no idea how I feel and you are only making it worse!”

When a difficult teen is out of control, they only can hear themselves and what they want. It is usually their way or no way! There are so many factors that can contribute to these feelings. The feelings are very real and should be addressed as soon as you see that your child is starting to run the household. Teen anger may lead to teen rage and teen violence which can soon destroy a family.

A local therapist can help your family diagnosis what is causing the negative behavior patterns. Conduct Disorder or Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) is some of the many causes to this harmful and stressful behavior. Many times you will find a need for a positive and safe program either local or outside your home are that can  help determine where these hurtful outbursts are stemming from. 

As difficult as this may seem, it is important that as your teen is expressing these feeling of anger and rage, that you as the parent learn to control your emotions.  You don’t want to fuel it or feed it which can potentially enrage it. 

Here are some tips for parents to learn to help manage their stress level as their teens is spiraling out of control:

  1. Take a ‘timeout.‘ Although it may seem cliché, counting to 10 before reacting really can defuse your temper.
  2. Get some space. Take a break from the person you’re angry with until your frustrations subside a bit.
  3. Once you’re calm, express your anger. It’s healthy to express your frustration in a nonconfrontational way. Stewing about it can make the situation worse.
  4. Get some exercise. Physical activity can provide an outlet for your emotions, especially if you’re about to erupt. Go for a brisk walk or a run, swim, lift weights or shoot baskets.
  5. Think carefully before you say anything. Otherwise, you’re likely to say something you’ll regret. It can be helpful to write down what you want to say so that you can stick to the issues. When you’re angry, it’s easy to get sidetracked.
  6. Identify solutions to the situation. Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work with the person who angered you to resolve the issue at hand.
  7. Use ‘I’ statements when describing the problem. This will help you to avoid criticizing or placing blame, which can make the other person angry or resentful – and increase tension. For instance, say, “I’m upset you didn’t help with the housework this evening,” instead of, “You should have helped with the housework.”
  8. Don’t hold a grudge. If you can forgive the other person, it will help you both. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to behave exactly as you want.
  9. Use humor to release tensions. Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Don’t use sarcasm, though – it’s can hurt feelings and make things worse.
  10. Practice relaxation skills. Learning skills to relax and de-stress can also help control your temper when it may flare up. Practice deep-breathing exercises, visualize a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase to yourself, such as “Take it easy.” Other proven ways to ease anger include listening to music, writing in a journal and doing yoga.

These tips from the Mayo Clinic can also be helpful to your teens.  It could benefit you to sit down with your teens and talk about controlling rage and anger before it escalates to the boiling over point.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens.

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