This time we can say the stereotype is correct. As we all know, talking with teenagers isn’t always easy, pleasant or productive. Add any level of depression to the mix and there’s a strong chance communication will not be a breeze.
Here are the Sundance Canyon Academy, we know that talking to someone, especially a teen, with depression is tough but necessary. As the more alone and isolated your teen feels, the stronger their depression with become. That’s why we recommend a compassionate approach to starting the conversation.
We’ve outline a quick list of things to, and not to say, to your teenager with depression.
What You Should Say To Your Teenager With Depression
“You matter to me.”
While we hope our children know that they matter to us, it’s important to remind them, especially while battling with depression. It’s never a bad time to remind them that you care, and you’re there for them.
“You are important to me.”
As noted above, a must when talking to your depressed teen. Let them know that they matter, that you love them, and that they’re important to you and many other people. It’s easy to forget sometimes.
“You can always talk to me. I’m not going anywhere.”
Depression comes with feelings of isolation and abandonment. Let them know they’re not alone, and while they might not be ready to talk now, you’ll be here for when they are.
“We’ll get through this.”
Again, letting your teen know they’re not alone is so important during these rough times. Depression is an illness that brings about these terrible feelings, and it’s tough to conquer alone.
“I love you.”
Enough said. A nice reminder, even though we hope they know. It doesn’t hurt to hear – and we like to think you can’t say it enough.
What You Should NOT Say To Your Teenager With Depression
“Life’s not fair.”
We know. It’s not, which is why depression is a thing…but reminding your teen isn’t going to help either of you. Instead, try something like “I’m here to talk about it” or “I’m here for you.”
“Snap out of it.”
Unfortunately, this isn’t exactly an option. Depression is an illness, and doesn’t put its victims in control of this. If snapping out of it were doable, they’d probably be happy to.
“Why are you always in a bad mood?”
Because they’re depressed, and it’s not their fault. Instead of stating the obvious, why don’t you try compassion instead.
“I know how you feel.”
Maybe, but probably not. And it’s not a helpful sentiment anyway. Depression takes over, and makes its victims feel isolated, so they probably wouldn’t believe you anyway. Try something like, “you matter to me” or “it matters to me how you feel.”