Life can seem extraordinarily challenging and unfair when your precious child is depressed. You not only have to help them overcome their depression, but you also have to deal with your own reaction to their emotional distress. It’s hard to know how to behave with your kids, especially if they seem depressed. Fortunately, BetterHelp can offer effective therapy and give you the support you need to be your best in this trying situation. Here’s how it works.
Connecting with BetterHelp
There are a couple of ways to connect with BetterHelp for online counseling. You can get on your computer and sign up at BetterHelp.com. Or, you can download the app to your phone from https://apps.apple.com/us/app/betterhelp-online-counseling/id995252384. Therapy is done through text chat or videoconferencing. While you may prefer text chat for yourself (or not), videoconferencing does have the advantage of allowing the therapist to observe your child to notice signs of depression that might not be evident in a chat session.
Online Therapy for Your Child
Many children balk at sitting in a therapist’s office, waiting for their appointment. Your child might feel uncomfortable going to a strange place to talk to someone they don’t know. But online therapy breaks down some of those barriers. Your child can be in a familiar place and see that you are near if they need you. Here’s how online therapy might go for your child.
Introductions : Your child’s therapist will introduce themselves in a friendly way to put your child at ease. They might ask your child to say a little bit about themselves and how they’re feeling. By setting a positive tone for therapy, the counselor encourages your child to participate.
Identifying Symptoms of Depression: While you may believe your child is depressed, a BetterHelp therapist is probably more knowledgeable about what depression looks like in children. As they interact with your child, they can assess their emotional states and their mental health. They will look for signs of childhood depression, such as:
- Sleep problems
- Trouble concentrating
- Problems at school
- Changes in eating habits or weight
- Mood swings
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Excessive crying
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed
- Lack of energy or fatigue
- Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
Expressing Feelings: Some children are very open about expressing their feelings. Others find it hard or scary to share their inner thoughts. Some might worry that they will hurt you if they say how they feel or that you won’t understand. Either way, having an objective person who is willing to listen without judgment or criticism can give your child a chance to express things they may not feel comfortable saying to you.
Evaluating Thoughts and Perceptions: One goal of therapy is to sort out realistic thoughts and perceptions from those clouded by emotion. The therapist can gently encourage your child to evaluate their beliefs and decide if they are helpful and based on what’s really happening.
Making New Choices: Changing your thoughts and behaviors is never easy, and it can be even more challenging for a child. But through therapy, they can learn to choose the thoughts and actions that will decrease their depression. They can learn to let go of unhealthy choices and choose what makes them feel better in the long run.
Types of Therapy for Depressed Kids: Children who are depressed can benefit from individual therapy. The counselor guides the child through the process of considering the thoughts behind their depression. They listen nonjudgmentally and offer compassionate support. The therapist may challenge your child’s assumptions about themselves or about their world. They might also provide suggestions to help them choose more helpful thoughts and behaviors.
Family therapy can also help children who are depressed. The fact that your family is participating in helping them feel better may make your child feel more cared about and accepted. It also gives you all a chance to work out problems contributing to their emotional distress.
BetterHelp Counseling for You: It’s never easy to help your child through their struggle with depression. You may feel stressed, anxious, worried, or over-burdened. This is an excellent time to talk with a counselor on your own. In therapy sessions, you can express your feelings about your child’s depression. For example, if you feel responsible or inadequate because of this development, talking to a therapist about it can feel like a big relief. They can also teach you techniques for dealing with your own emotions and meeting your own needs in the situation. Then, you can be better prepared to turn your attention to your child’s needs.
Individual therapy can also give you a chance to learn more about depression and how it is affecting your child. The therapist may suggest healthy ways to communicate with your child when your young one is showing signs of depression. They might encourage you to help your child get involved in healthy activities. In short, your therapist can teach you how to respond to your child’s needs and nurture your child’s mental health.
Another way BetterHelp can assist you in dealing with your child’s depression is to offer reliable information about mental health topics like depression and related issues. You can check out the BetterHelp Twitter page to find articles on mental health as well as helpful tips and insightful quotes. Whenever you’re feeling social media fatigue, you can switch to the BetterHelp page for a breath of positivity.
Dealing with a child’s depression may be one of the hardest things you’ll face in your life. Yet, you don’t have to handle it alone. With BetterHelp as your mental health guide, you can get through this struggle, and both have a better life now and in the future.