The world is a tough place these days. Uncertainty, incivility, loss, injury, illness, and alienation can conspire together to take us or our loved ones to a dark place. We can get so overwhelmed that we often do not know what steps to take. If you begin to suspect that depression might be lurking in yourself or your child, it is time to take action.
1. Seek physical causes. Schedule an extensive physical with your family doctor and share honestly about what is going on emotionally. An illness or malfunction can cause depression as can the struggle to cope with the aftermath of a physical issue or injury.
2. Check the environment. Social media greatly impacts all of us, particularly our kids, often in negative ways. Did you know that excessive amounts of screen time are correlated with depression and suicidal thoughts? Here’s a resource that can help you evaluate and help your students learn to manage social media.
3. Pursue counseling. If your family is Christian, the first place to seek counseling help will likely be your pastor. If they do not have training in this area, they can help you find resources. There are usually local secular counselors as well. If you don’t know where to start, contact Focus on the Family, an organization that has trained counselors on staff. They will provide a free counseling session to help parents/students identify some problem areas and then will help them formulate a plan of action to find support on the local level. Their site has articles dealing with depression that could be helpful as well.
Depression is serious and often needs intervention to overcome. Don’t wait to seek help!
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