Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Guest Post: Fighting Depression While Raising Troubled Teens

Today, I have the great honour of sharing with you a guest post by Agnes Jiminez. This subject is dear to me, particularly as I know what it is like to be the troubled teen, as well as knowing that in a few short years, I will be in this situation myself, raising a teen while fighting my own mental illness.

These tips and reminders are great, and deeply true, and it is important to be honest with yourself about your own limitations when sorting through your own personal issues.

With no furhter ado, please read this insightful and well-written piece. Share your thoughts below, join the conversation, make mental illness a subject that is no longer taboo. Thanks. Peace, love, and fight for your self.

Parents suffering from depression are likely to experience difficulty -- especially once the children are able to understand the disorder and witness the changes in moods in their parent. Despite the fact that a parent is suffering from depression, guidance and discipline still must take place.

What are some of the coping techniques that parents suffering from depression can use when it comes to parenting teenagers?

Level with the Teen
Communicating with the teen and explaining to them the illness and symptoms that come along with depression can help the teen to understand what the parent is going through and hopefully increasing the empathy the teen has for the parent. Allowing the teen to ask questions and explaining how the disease can affect the lifestyle of the parent, the relationship between the parent and teen and how the parent is feeling is likely to give the teen a sense of relief. Make sure the teen understands that the depression is not their fault -- and is not exacerbated by the teen.

Cut Yourself some Slack
Parents often try to do too much. Parents suffering from depression are likely to feel overwhelmed -- more than parents not suffering from the disease. It's important to understand that there are going to be times when you aren't going to be able to get everything you want to accomplished -- and that's okay. Cut yourself some slack.

Get the Help You Need
It's okay for parents to suffer from depression. What's not okay is parents suffering from depression without getting the treatment options that are available to them. Whether you decide to go through talk therapy and learn the coping skills that can be used to avert the depression or choose medication that can help to balance the hormones and lessen the symptoms of depression, it's important to take the time for you and get the help that is needed to overcome the disease.

Take Time Away
Sometimes, part of the treatment plan requires the parent to step away. Stepping away from the situation and taking time for yourself to heal from the depression and learn the skills to overcome the
disease isn't easy but with the help from family members and friends and lifestyle changes like alternative school options, you can take the time that is needed.

Making short term changes to the lifestyle and understanding that depression is something that can occur quickly and leave you requiring a bit of extra help can help families suffering from depression to heal faster, and heal together.

Agnes Jimenez is a professional blogger and writer. She writes for many online establishments and currently partners with in spreading awareness about troubled and depressed teenagers (and how to deal with them).  Help Your Teen Now aims to increase awareness on the current psychological and societal stresses of today's teens and how these factors affect the future of our society.

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