How do I help my daughter with depression?
Young adults often face a set of new challenges as they navigate their way through the early years of adulthood. These challenges may become overwhelming to young adults and negatively impact their mental health.
If you have noticed a change in your daughter’s behavior or mood and suspect she may be depressed, you may be wondering …
“How do I help my daughter with depression?”
Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions young adults face today and it’s often accompanied by anxiety. If your daughter has become depressed, there are a few things you can do to help.
In this article, we’re exploring how you can help your daughter with depression and encourage you to do so sooner than later.
How Do I Help My Daughter with Depression?
Mental conditions affect people in different ways, so it may not always be clear how to help your daughter with depression.
The key is to explore different options until you find a solution that works for your daughter.
The best place to start is communication – letting your daughter know you’re there for her if she feels like talking will let her know you’re there. Even if she doesn’t utilize your support, knowing you’re there is important.
Contacting a professional for help is the next best step you can take. Mental health professionals have extensive training and experience working with a variety of different mental health conditions, which is invaluable considering depression affects every individual in a unique way.
Here at the Paradigm Young Adult Program, we specialize in providing mental health treatment for young adults, so you can rest assured your daughter will receive treatment specific to her age group.
A professional will provide guidance and develop a plan specific to your daughter. In most cases, these plans will involve depression treatment and/or anxiety treatment alongside therapy. Depending on the cause of the mental health condition, therapy may include social therapy, family therapy, or emotional therapy.
Another way you can support your daughter is to learn as much as you can about depression, anxiety, and related mental health conditions. This will help you understand how to help your daughter with depression and provide insight regarding what your daughter may be experiencing.
The important thing is that your daughter receives the support, treatment, and therapy needed to cope with depression.
What if you’re not sure if she’s depressed or anxious?
If you suspect your daughter may be experiencing depression, there are a few signs to look for.
Signs of Depression and Anxiety
It can be difficult for a concerned parent to discern whether the attitudes and behaviors of a child are due to normal reactions to life, or due to being trapped in the despair of a mental health disorder.
Symptoms of depression may start out minor, and then progress into worrisome patterns. If you notice the following symptoms while observing your daughter, it may be time to step in and say something.
Common symptoms of depression include the following.
- Sleep disturbances
- Drastic weight change
- Avoidance of social activities
- Isolation from friends and family
- Frequent crying
- Substance abuse
- Reckless behaviors
- Disinterest in hobbies
- Frequent illness
- Muscle aches
- Expressions of guilt or suicidal thoughts
Causes of Depression Among Young Adults
There are several causes of depression among young women. The more you understand the causes, the more you will understand how to help your daughter with depression and provide the support she needs.
Women develop depression twice as often as men do and have twice the chance to be diagnosed with an anxiety issue. The sources of the problem can be as unique and varied as the female, herself.
Some of the more common factors which contribute to the complex experience of mental health problems for young women are included, below.
Entering the academic and professional world which was previously dominated by males did not eliminate the biological uniqueness of the female body.
Females are genetically designed to produce offspring, and the body begins preparing for this task as soon as puberty arrives. For some, this monthly preparation can go largely unnoticed. For others, the body’s hormone shifts of preparing for potential pregnancy each month can result in her experiencing the equivalent of a small crisis.
If depression or anxiety regularly emerge during a monthly cycle, hormones may be a culprit.
Unhappiness with her body can result in a young female experiencing more distress than any other psychiatric disorder can cause.
This culture’s obsession with the ideal female form has not been reduced with the progressions toward equality, and there is an argument that the effects of social media have made the obsession even worse.
The discontent over body image can lead to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and suicide ideation.
Since the age of hunters and gatherers, females have been documented as relying on their social networks for support.
Survival within a clan depended on the women-folk developing an acceptable hierarchy and fulfilling their roles in a cooperative way.
While modern life does not so vitally depend upon this socialization, females are still known to place more emphasis on interactions with others than their male counterparts. This emphasis can mean that extreme stress is experienced when social ties appear threatened, and the stress can result in the development of symptoms of depression.
As a young woman enters the workforce, she is often excited to be part of a business world that will recognize her for her brains and talent. The reality of the adult world doesn’t always live up to this expectation.
Research has shown that 42% of women experience discrimination in their workplace.
This can take the form of being passed over for a promotion, having great ideas that are ignored or is expected to remain more quiet and cooperative than the male employees. Facing discrimination at work can produce feelings of depression which overflow into her personal life.
When discrimination is taken to an extreme, it can manifest as sexual harassment.
The Me Too movement has shed recent light on the prevalence of sexual abuse of women, with one out of every six women reporting instances of rape or attempted rape. Even in the absence of physical violence, females are often accustomed to being leered at – and jeered at – as soon as their bodies begin to show the signs of puberty.
Simply going out into public can begin to feel like one is on a stage, and the pressure from this negative attention can wreak havoc on a young woman’s psyche.
Now that you know how to help your daughter with depression, you can take the next step.
It’s best to seek professional health sooner than later, as ignoring mental health conditions may result in the condition becoming worse. The combination of your emotional support, professional treatment, therapy is one of the best ways to help your daughter with depression.
Please contact the Paradigm Young Adult Program to learn more.