Mood, Hormones and Everything In Between:
Teenage Depression, Anxiety, Stress and Natural Remedies
Do you remember your teenage years? It may have been the best time of your life or the worst.
For many teens nowadays there is a lot of pressure to be the best in school, at sports, be well known on social media and be in shape/good looking, etc. There are more demands today then ever before, which fosters a lot of anxiety and stress for teenagers which can lead to depression. Additionally, teen-hood is also a time when many chronic illnesses and injuries begin.
Maybe your teenager has concerns about hormones, stress, acne, digestion, weight loss, weight gain. Many of this concerns can have a negative effect on a teenagers anxiety and lead to possible depression.
You may have tried various different things or maybe other doctors and friends are telling you that it’s normal for your teen to feel the way they’re feeling, but it’s not!!
Common Conditions your teenager may be dealing with:
- Acne, eczema, other rashes
- Birth control use and pregnancy
- Digestive concerns – pain, IBS, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, SIBO
- Hormonal imbalances
- Menstrual cycle disorders – PCOS, heavy periods, no period, PMS
- Nutrient deficiency – poor diet, specific restrictions/diets, food intolerances
- Pain and injuries
- Personal growth & development – mental, emotional, spiritual change, maturity
- Sleep disturbances
- Thyroid problems
- Weight management concerns/disorders
This is quite the list and most of these things will pop up in young adulthood. They can be difficult to manage alone, or your teen may be wondering if it’s all in their head. It’s important to address these concerns sooner than later to treat them before they progress and become chronic.
The Causative Factors For Each individual Are Different,
The causative factors for teenage depression and anxiety are different, thus treatment will depend on the specific imbalances in your child, but some things remain the same for all. See my recommendations for creating the conditions for health in your teen through a naturopathic approach.
Five Steps for Natural Remedies for Teenage Depression and Anxiety:
You can address your child’s diet by being sure they are not only eating enough but also eating enough of the right foods to avoid energetic and nutritional deficiencies. These would be things like getting enough protein for growth and development, complex carbohydrates for energy, healthy fats for brain health and vegetables for vitamins and minerals.
Oftentimes our teens are running from one activity to the next, picking food up on the go or choosing convenience foods that offer little to no nutritional value. It’s important to include your child in meal decisions and cooking when possible but also educate them on healthy choices.
It’s amazing how much diet influences and contributes to or takes away from your teenager’s health. Your diet is where health begins and ends, making it the most important part of your lifestyle.
Many teens are in sports or have PE classes at school, sometimes so much activity to fatigue. But it’s important to find a physical activity or movement in general that brings your teen joy, that they can do in their free time or with the family to connect and bond. Exercise is extremely important for mood stability, heart health, focus, drive, and weight maintenance. Exercise has also been proven to scientifically help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
* STRESS RELIEF
So many of our teens are suffering from chronic stress and anxiety at such a young age due to the demands that society puts on them to be perfect. Young adults are expected to take harder classes, be involved in sports, music, volunteer, work AND get perfect grades and test scores, while still having time for friends, sleep and hygiene. Sometimes it seems impossible!
This creates a lot of pressure and stress for our kids. It’s so important to instill in their techniques to help manage and reduce stress.
Common ideas I provide to families are gratitude journaling, listening to podcasts, drawing, music, breathing exercises, etc, anything to relieve stress and calm the body and mind. This helps your teen learn to listen to their bodies and adjust their lifestyle accordingly to reduce pressure and anxiety.
* SCREEN TIME
Screens are everywhere nowadays and so common for young kids and teens to have multiple different screens. This is a fairly new phenomenon in the grand scheme of time but so important for you to be aware of as a parent.
Too much screen time can be detrimental because it interferes with proper sleep patterns, mood and behavior, eye health and demotes physical activity and play.
Additionally, research shows that radiation from cell phones/tablets damages the developing brain and sleep while also increasing the risk for hyperactivity, cancer and memory problems in the future. Keeping screen time to a minimum is important to support your child’s health now and in the time ahead. For more information on this and my recommendations for managing screen time, see my blog here from last February!
* FAMILY TIME AND CONNECTION
Teenage years can often feel lonely, depressed, isolating and confusing. It’s a time when many kids start to change emotionally, physically and really begin to get to know the world around them and how it can affect them.
Connecting to others, whether that be friends, family or self is an imperative part of growth and development at this time. It’s important for teens to feel supported and most of this comes from family. Set intentions to create specific family time to connect, talk, be with one another. This will allow your teen to feel seen, heard and understood.
When to See a Naturopathic Medical Doctor?
Your teenager will find science-based non-invasive support to heal new, chronic or irresolvable concerns. Again, this is a time when many injuries, first diagnoses, and hormonal changes are occurring, so when your child is experiencing new, severe, unrecognizable or recurrent symptoms, a Naturopathic Medical Doctor can be very supportive.
Avoid being passed from specialist to specialist and having your child take serious medications with side effects; by working with a Naturopathic Medical Doctor you will find answers by addressing the root cause of symptoms and disease processes naturally. At any time in one’s life, but specifically in the younger years, it’s important to address concerns immediately and naturally in order to create the conditions for health as your teen continues to grow and develop.
When you see your child suffering and you’re not sure what to do or how to help, we have your solutions. When you need more support because your teen won’t listen, we are here for you! Relieve your stress and let us help you and your child reach optimal health.