How to handle depression in young adults and teens

The Millennials or Gen Z are the ones born into technology and into the era of instant gratification ( (don’t take this as a negative word) what I mean is whatever they ask for has been given to them immediately because of ease and availability of information, products, online shopping, home- deliveries, drive-throughs, and parents being much more focused on their needs. Hence they do not know any better. Their emotional resilience is very low, and it's not their fault. In olden times they used to say this person has a lot of SEHENSHEEELTA aka Patience, resilience in them because they worked on building their emotional muscle. And now in COVID and lockdowns, these kids are suddenly thrown in the War Zone without training. They are forced to learn and develop the muscle of emotional resilience and not by choice, they have been thrown into it. So they are experiencing a multitude of emotions and feelings. Please be patient with them. These are the things you can do to help your child:

1) Check what is the environment that you are creating around them- is it full of fear, anger, and worry? The news channel is on constantly and there is a barrage of negative information?

2) Make sure to clean your inner house, just like you clean their rooms and the physical house.

3) Be like the river backs that contain, control the river on the sides- Be strong, sturdy, consistent bit not weak. Be their guide, mentally carving and showing the path to them but not jumping in to do the work for them.

4) Very important action is to create a space of acceptance & love where there is no room for judgment of how things should be or could

5) Don’t’ force the conversations- just sitting next to them while they are watching TV, playing their video game, or doing whatever works also works. Your energy/vives are reaching them. they are energetically connected to you and they are in your immediate soul group.

6) But make sure your energy is good, clear, worry-free, and that you are sending positive vibes to them. No projection of worry onto them.

7) When they are ready to talk- do not invalidate their feelings by saying “oh! don’t feel like that sweetie (Even though well-intended you are invalidating their feelings)

8) Rather validate their feelings - Say things like "oh I understand you are feeling Frustrated/sad/upset/angry." Ask them if they can name or address what they are feeling. Teaching the kids to “NAME” the particular feeling they are experiencing is very helpful. This way they learn to recognize and understand what they are feeling. UNDERSTANDING IS POWER. Then they can release those feelings. You can release something only when you can pinpoint and understand what it is that you are trying to release.

10) Entice, bribe, talk to them to convince them to do some sort of physical activity like going out for walks in the fresh air or simply working out. You can say “I really need company please come with me or let’s walk to the ice cream shop or after the walk let's go for ice cream.” And on the walk, if they don’t feel like talking, let it be. Let them listen to their music. The fresh air or activity will help them anyways.

11) Make sure to keep an eye on them for any symptoms or behaviors that could potentially be harmful to them. In that case step in immediately, Seek professional help immediately!!!

12) Teach them if they are ready to sit in silence and have some technology-free, quiet time.

13) I can of assistance as a Guidance counselor, you don’t have to mention the word therapy. Sadly, therapy still has negative meaning attached to it. Therapy is just a process to connect with your healed, better self.

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