Depression is a mental health issue that affects millions of people all around the world every year. And teenagers are especially vulnerable to developing depression due to stress with work and school, peer pressure, bullying, and more.
Unfortunately, depressed teenagers are often troubled. They may get into drugs to self-medicate their symptoms. Some might even self-harm in order to seek relief for their pain. But the most tragic case of all might be when a child commits suicide, whether because they feel their lives will never improve or they’re feeling so hopeless that death feels like the only solution to their problems.
When you suspect something’s wrong, it’s important to take action as quickly as possible. Technology can be a valuable tool when trying to decide what’s going on. Here’s what you can do if you suspect your child’s depressed.
Using spy gear like mini hidden cameras, audio surveillance or GPS trackers may sound invasive. However, many parents wish they had taken the first step to prevent tragedy from happening with their children. Sometimes “prying” can become “saving a life.”
Know the Signs
Many children are masters of disguising their own feelings, making it difficult to really know if they’re depressed or not. A child that appears happy on the outside might be extremely depressed internally.
With that being said, there are a few signs you may want to watch out for.
If your child seems unusually withdrawn or avoids social contact, this can definitely be one strong sign that your child’s depressed. Many depressed people avoid social contact, wanting to avoid having to put up a façade.
Another sign may be if your child seems to put themselves down and speak poorly about themselves. Low self-esteem and depression go hand-in-hand.
Poor school performance, especially if your child was a formerly excellent student, is often a sign that your child is depressed and having difficulty focusing on tasks. They might show disinterest in their favorite hobbies or avoid contact with their friends.
Someone who’s depressed and self-harming might constantly wear long sleeves, even in warm weather and try to avoid exposing certain parts of their body like their arms or their legs. You might notice blood on their clothing or notice that sharp objects in your home are going missing.
A child who plans to commit suicide might start giving away favorite belongings or write poetry and stories with dark themes. They may start saying good-bye to friends and relatives. They might even make strange purchases over the Internet, trying to obtain things like pills.
Act before it’s too late, even if your child turns out to not really be depressed.
If you have reason to believe your child might be depressed, consider installing cellphone tracking technology on their phone. You’ll be able to see all activity conducted on your child’s phone, including his or her GPS location, texts they’ve sent, and Internet browsing activity. You’ll be able to tell if your child was looking up red flag topics such as how to commit suicide.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re paying attention to your child. Don’t dismiss their feelings and be sure that you’re offering yourself as a voice of reason, open to listening to your child about anything without judgement.
If your child is planning to hurt themselves or commit suicide, there’s no time to waste.
Refer your child to a psychiatric hospital and a child therapist. Remove all sharp objects from the house, chemical cleaners, and medication that could be used to make an attempt at suicide.
The sooner you take action, the better change you’ll have of helping your child make a full recovery. Show that you care. Don’t wait until your child’s hurt or gone. Let technology and identifying red flags help you save your child and help them feel empowered and healed once again.