Tween and teen health (24)
- Strength training: OK for kids?
- Healthy body image: Tips for guiding girls
- Dehydration and youth sports: Curb the risk
- see all in Tween and teen health
Tween health (6)
- Menstruation: Preparing your preteen for her period
- Inhalant abuse: Is your child at risk?
- Sex education: Talking to your school-age child about sex
- see all in Tween health
Teen health (21)
- Teen weight loss: Healthy habits count
- Teenage pregnancy: Consider the options
- Teen eating disorders: Tips to protect your teen
- see all in Teen health
Teenage depression: Prevention begins with parental support
Encourage physical activity
Regular physical activity — regardless of the level of intensity — might play a role in reducing teenage depression and anxiety.
For adolescents, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends one hour or more of physical activity a day. This includes aerobic activities — such as running, swimming, walking and jumping rope — and muscle-strengthening activities, such as climbing a rock wall or lifting weights.
Promote good sleep
A good night's sleep can help your child feel his or her best, both physically and emotionally.
In a recent study, teens whose parents enforced a bedtime of 10 p.m. or earlier were significantly less likely to become depressed than were teens who went to bed at midnight or later.
In addition to a consistent bedtime, also consider other principles of good sleep — such as following a consistent bedtime routine and limiting screen time just before bed.
Also keep in mind that the relationship between sleep and depression goes both ways. Lack of sleep might boost the risk of depression — and depression itself can make it harder to sleep.
Consider mental health therapy
Family-based depression prevention programs — often using a type of psychotherapy known as cognitive behavioral therapy — can be helpful, especially when there's a family history of depression.
During therapy, a mental health provider might help you and your child:
- Learn about depression
- Develop skills to handle stress in a positive way
- Communicate with each other more effectively
- Understand the effect that stress and depression can have on a person's life
Consult a mental health provider about the options and what might work best for your child.Previous page
(2 of 2)
- Merry SN, et al. Psychological and educational interventions for preventing depression in children and adolescents. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD003380.pub3/abstract. Accessed June 8, 2012.
- Biddle SJH, et al. Physical activity and mental health in children and adolescents: A review of reviews. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2011;45:886.
- Gladstone TRG, et al. The prevention of adolescent depression. Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 2011;34:35.
- Primack BA, et al. Using ecological momentary assessment to determine media use by individuals with and without major depressive disorder. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. 2011;165:360.
- Gangwisch JE, et al. Earlier parental set bedtimes as a protective factor against depression and suicidal ideation. Sleep. 2010;33:97.
- Davila J, et al. Romantic and sexual activities, parent-adolescent stress, and depressive symptoms among early adolescent girls. Journal of Adolescence. 2009;32:909.
- 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx. Accessed June 22, 2012.
- Mason MJ, et al. Adolescents' social environment and depression: Social networks, extracurricular activity and family relationship influences. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings. 2009;16:346.
- Schwartz OS, et al. Emotion socialization within the family environment and adolescent depression. Clinical Psychology Review. 2010;32:447.
- Rishel CW. Pathways to prevention for children of depressed mothers: A review of the literature and recommendations for practice. Depression Research and Treatment. 2012;2012:313689.
- Hoecker JL. Adolescent sleep deprivation. Indian Pediatrics. 2008;45:181.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 28, 2012.