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How Parents Can Help Their Depressed Young Adult

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Watching your young adult struggle with everyday activities can be painful and lead to a feeling of helplessness. Recognizing they are struggling and distinguishing their symptoms as possible depression is a crucial first step to getting them the help they need.

If you are a parent of a depressed young adult, it’s essential for you to address the warning signs you have noticed by encouraging open communication, seeking a diagnosis, and by seeking out the treatment your son or daughter needs.

Encourage Open Communication with Your Depressed Young Adult

It is important that throughout the diagnosis and treatment process, you encourage your young adult to share what he or she is going through. Offer support to your young adult and listen without lecturing, making a conscious effort to validate their feelings as you do so. Your young adult may be ashamed of what he or she is going through, or have trouble expressing their feelings as depression can put up walls for some young adults.  Be patient as they attempt to describe to you their feelings, as many fear being misunderstood.

Seek a Professional Diagnosis for Your Depressed Young Adult

It is important first to get a professional diagnosis to identify depression as the issue. If you are a parent of a depressed young adult, address the warning signs you have noticed by seeking a diagnosis.

If depression is even a believed a possibility, make an appointment with a trusted physician for depression screening and be ready to discuss specific symptoms exhibited, how long they have been present, any patterns that have arisen, and the effects on daily life.  The physician may ask if there is any family history of depression or other mental illnesses or disorders.  If no health problems appear to cause the depression, the physician can make recommendations on how to move forward with treatment for the depressed young adult, based on their circumstance and the severity of the depression.

Providing the Best Treatment for Your Depressed Young Adult

There are several different treatment options for depression and anxiety. Talk therapy and antidepressant medications may help with depression. Different forms of talk therapy can also help. One-on-one therapy may be more comfortable for some, while group therapy may provide needed support. Listen to your young adult as you select a therapist. Connection in therapy is crucial for progress, and if your young adult does not feel comfortable with the provider, it will be hard to achieve needed results.

Other treatment options include medication, gap year programs for mental health, and wilderness adventure therapy. Medication can help settle mental imbalances and aid in the healing process. When therapy and medication are not enough or not the right fit, gap year programs and wilderness adventure therapy are great options. Programs such as these supplement traditional methods and offer a more effective treatment option as a whole.

Interested in learning more? Download our free white paper below to learn more about depression and how adventure therapy can help.

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