Saturday January 25, 2020

Here are Ways to Help a Depressed Teenager

If you know a teenager who exhibits symptoms of depression, then here are ways to help him/her out

0
//
Teenager Depression
If you know a teenager who is exhibiting the symptoms of depression, then you can help in many ways. Lifetime Stock

Teenagers are more often than not seen as being moody and temperamental. Usually it is believed that their moodiness is a phase in which they get triggered by the smallest thing and occurs because they want more independence.

It is possible that their irritability and in particular their low moods can be indicators of an underlying depressive illness which is characterized by loss of interest, lack of pleasure, sleep or appetite changes, fatigue, tiredness, lack of concentration, feelings of helplessness or hopelessness lasting over a period of two weeks.

If you know a teenager who is exhibiting the symptoms of depression, Kamna Chhibber, Head, Mental Health, Department of Mental health & Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare shares the important things to consider:

Teenager depression
You need to aid the teenager in understanding that depression is a mental illness caused due to neurotransmitter imbalances. Pixabay

Help develop understanding – Aid the teenager in understanding that depression is a mental illness caused due to neurotransmitter imbalances. It does not reflect a weakness or a deficient character. Like any physical health disease it can affect anyone and needs to be treated.

Bust the myths the teenager holds – Provide the teenager with the right information so they can understand what is going on. Lack of information can cause them to negatively judge themselves and consider themselves weak for experiencing what they are. It is important to help them understand that depression is an illness affecting 300,000,000 people worldwide, including teenagers and is a treatable condition.

Do not be quick to provide solutions – If a teenager is experiencing symptoms of depression they may not be seeking a solution to the problems they are expressing. It is important to not keep trying to jump into the middle of what is being shared to solve the problem.

Listen to what is going on – It is important to maintain openness to listening to what the teenager is thinking and feeling. Asking what is going on and listening to what (s)he has to say is helpful in allowing them to release what is going on internally and not keep ruminating about it.

Express your understanding and be supportive – It is imperative of adopt a stance in which you express your understanding to the teenager. This allows for greater levels of sharing over time and makes the teen feel supported by you. This is a critical aspect in aiding recovery from a mental health illness.

Depressed teenager
If a teenager is experiencing symptoms of depression they may not be seeking a solution to the problems they are expressing. Pixabay

Be encouraging and not pushy or nagging – Remember to keep encouraging the teenager to try to maintain routines, interests and activities. However, there is a fine line between being encouraging and becoming too pushy or nagging. The latter happens when you are not listening to what is going on with the teenager and there is no balance between encouraging and letting be. This can be a tricky balance to achieve.

Request them to maintain friendships – A teenager in a depressive state may struggle to maintain relationships, particularly with friends. It would be helpful to the teen to request and remind them to maintain their friendships, even though there may be moments of disappointment, lack of understanding or a disinterest in doing so.

Also Read- Is Vaginal Delivery Better Than Cesarean Birth? Find it Out Here

Encourage help seeking – It is very crucial that if a teenager is meeting the criteria of a depressive illness that they be encouraged to seek help. Taking professional support is imperative. This involves meeting with a therapist for counselling or with a psychiatrist for medications.

In being supportive you can help your teenager seek the right treatment and support to treat the illness and also develop the skills and coping abilities to work through their experiences. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s Why Stress Can Make Your Hair Go Gray

The researchers found that stress causes these nerves to release the chemical norepinephrine, which gets taken up by nearby pigment-regenerating stem cells

0
Stress
The research, published in the journal Nature, found that stress activates nerves that are part of the fight-or-flight response, which in turn cause permanent damage to pigment-regenerating stem cells in hair follicles. Pixabay

Those annoying gray hair that tend to crop up with age really are signs of stress, according to a new study.

The research, published in the journal Nature, found that stress activates nerves that are part of the fight-or-flight response, which in turn cause permanent damage to pigment-regenerating stem cells in hair follicles.

“We wanted to understand if this connection is true, and if so, how stress leads to changes in diverse tissues. Hair pigmentation is such an accessible and tractable system to start with — and besides, we were genuinely curious to see if stress indeed leads to hair graying,” said study senior author Ya-Chieh Hsu from Harvard University in the US.

Because stress affects the whole body, researchers first had to narrow down which body system was responsible for connecting stress to hair colour.

The team first hypothesised that stress causes an immune attack on pigment-producing cells. However, when mice lacking immune cells still showed hair graying, researchers turned to the hormone cortisol. But once more, it was a dead end. “Stress always elevates levels of the hormone cortisol in the body, so we thought that cortisol might play a role,” Hsu said.

“But surprisingly, when we removed the adrenal gland from the mice so that they couldn’t produce cortisol-like hormones, their hair still turned gray under stress,” Hsu added. After systematically eliminating different possibilities, researchers honed in on the sympathetic nerve system, which is responsible for the body’s fight-or-flight response.

Sympathetic nerves branch out into each hair follicle on the skin. The researchers found that stress causes these nerves to release the chemical norepinephrine, which gets taken up by nearby pigment-regenerating stem cells. In the hair follicle, certain stem cells act as a reservoir of pigment-producing cells.

When hair regenerates, some of the stem cells convert into pigment-producing cells that colour the hair. Researchers found that the norepinephrine from sympathetic nerves causes the stem cells to activate excessively. The stem cells all convert into pigment-producing cells, prematurely depleting the reservoir.

Big Mouth, Yelling, Loud, Girl, Face, Person, Woman
Those annoying gray hair that tend to crop up with age really are signs of stress, according to a new study. Pixabay

To connect stress with hair graying, the researchers started with a whole-body response and progressively zoomed into individual organ systems, cell-to-cell interaction and eventually all the way down to molecular dynamics. “We know that peripheral neurons powerfully regulate organ function, blood vessels, and immunity, but less is known about how they regulate stem cells,” said study researcher Isaac Chiu.

ALSO READ: Samsung Unveils Flagship Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite For Rs 39,999

“With this study, we now know that neurons can control stem cells and their function, and can explain how they interact at the cellular and molecular level to link stress with hair graying,” Chiu added. (IANS)