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Almost every teen goes through difficult periods of adjustment as they make the transition from childhood to adulthood. For parents, one of the biggest challenges during this period is sorting out normal “teenage angst” from more serious problems like depression. To help, here’s a basic guide explaining what you need to know.

What causes depression?

For any person, clinical depression is a serious issue that affects every area of life. There is often no single cause for depression, but contributing factors include:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Inherited traits
  • Trauma
  • Brain chemistry changes
  • Presence of other mental health problems
  • Learning disabilities
  • Bullying
  • Academic performance difficulties

When depression is not treated promptly, it can lead to significant complications. Untreated depression drives people into relationship conflicts, alcohol abuse, academic and work performance issues, and in worst cases, self-harm and attempted suicide.

For teens, depression can be especially devastating since they lack the life experience and emotional maturity to help them recognize and deal with their emotions. Depression is a serious issue, and depression among teens has grown exponentially in the social media age.

What symptoms indicate my teen might be depressed?

There are a number of symptoms which could indicate depression, and it’s important to be familiar with them. Here are some of the most important:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Lack of energy
  • Hopelessness
  • Irritability or anger
  • Increased isolation
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Constant aches and pains
  • Lack of interest in things they enjoyed previously
  • Persistent negative thinking
  • Persistent sadness
  • Oversensitivity to criticism
  • Thoughts or talk of death and suicide
  • Substance abuse

All of the above symptoms can be a normal part of the healthy teenage experience. As teens move from childhood into the responsibilities and complexities of adult life, they may naturally find themselves feeling sad, fatigued, hopeless, or overly sensitive.

And the fact that they are currently undergoing physiological changes in their growing bodies doesn’t make things any easier for them. The key for parents is noticing when these symptoms move from normal to concerning. 

When are these symptoms most serious?

Parents should consider the duration of the symptoms, how intense they are, and which areas of life they affect. Reflecting on symptoms in light of these areas can help parents decide whether their teen is experiencing normal growing pains or something else — and whether they should seek help for their child in depression treatment centers for teenagers.

Area of life: It is quite normal for teens to express frustration, impatience, and anger at their family or toward others they feel they can confide in, yet reign all that in when around their friends or those they admire. They may be willing to let their family see how sad they are but they put up a more positive front around classmates.

If these feelings and outbursts are starting to spill out into every area of life, this means your teen is struggling much more to control their sadness or anger. It is pervading their life and making it increasingly difficult to function.

Intensity: Teens will experience nearly all the symptoms listed above at some point, usually in thoughts that come and go. For parents, this can seem frustrating as it may be hard to predict a teen’s mood from day to day.

When the sad or negative feelings become chronic, even if they are mild, then parents should be concerned. This can quickly progress from mild, chronic sadness to feelings so intense the teen may be unable to get out of bed or may have suicidal ideations.

Duration: The final area of concern is how long symptoms have persisted. If a teen is sad or angry one day followed by several good days, this is likely nothing to be concerned about. If the breaks seem to be getting shorter, or if the bad mood persists for two weeks or more, it is possible that the teen is suffering from depression and needs professional help.

If you suspect your teenager is experiencing something more than normal teenage emotional upheaval, don’t hesitate to get them professional help. The vast majority of people who get help for depression respond well and recover.

Hey all! Big thanks to Katy Blevins for handing over the reins to me at the end of 2017 to fulfill my new years resolution to write...often! Based in Miami, you can find me blogging about family life as a mother of two young kids. But i'll also continue the Chaos and Kiddos theme of business, fashion, parenting, product reviews, and...well, I could go on and on.

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Family

A Unique Travelling Experience for the Family

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With spring break currently in full force and summer just around the corner, you and your family may be using the free time to plan for a big vacation during the extended summer holidays.

If going to Disneyland or another theme park sounds too typical or superficial, then you can look at the options for short-term educational tours.

Centered around the concept of offering a diverse range of educational fun for the whole family, these tours can prove to be the perfect mix of knowledge and joy for all ages.

To help you form an informed opinion about taking an education tour, here are a few reasons why such a tour could be a fun, enthralling and unique travelling experience for your family.

It Can Provide Firsthand Experiences

Developed with the very thought of teaching through different aspects, an educational tour lets you and your family learn new things during your travels.

You are no longer limited to using your imagination to interpret someone else’s words or using your vision to appreciate a picture on your screen. Instead of only reading about faraway places and their various traits, you can actually experience them firsthand by living through them together with your family. This allows you to use all of your senses to experience things as they are in real life.

This lets you and your family have a greater understanding of what it actually feels like to be in a place instead of just reading about it. That by itself enables all of you to use that experience in a variety of aspects such as work, school and personal life.

It Lets You Appreciate What is There in the World

Whether you are learning about the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu or getting Spanish lessons from locals in Ecuador, an educational tour can introduce you to newfound appreciation and understanding of different cultures and places.

This makes sure that you are no longer limited to filtered sources of information. You can learn the basics of several languages, study the topics of various cultures, and absorb the knowledge of how life is in different places of the world.

It lets you and your family develop empathy for the planet and its inhabitants, and that allows you to make better decisions in your everyday lives.

It Makes You More Confident

Traveling to different places and learning about the life there doesn’t only educate you from a perspective of knowledge, but it also helps you grow from a personal aspect. 

Since you and your family members are able to learn through different experiences of various people and explore sights that you have never traveled before, all of you get to grow more confident, perceptive and knowledgeable from the experience.

As such, you are ready to take on any challenges that life throws your way. The older people in your family could learn to apply these skills at their workplace, while younger members could use this assertiveness during their school and college with ease. All in all, it helps you boost your performance, and lets you apply your newly gained education in various aspects of life.

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Family

4 Big Ways Your Life Will Change When You Have Kids

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It’s easy –– and lazy –– to say that everything in your life will change once you have kids. However, for people who want to get a true sense of what parenthood is really like, such a blanket statement doesn’t convey much meaning. And it’s also not exactly true. It’s not as if would-be parents have to give up all of their favorite hobbies and abandon all their other ambitions just to start a family. Given that fact, today we’ll outline four concrete ways raising a child will affect your life, so that you can plan for the future with greater confidence:

Reduced Spontaneity

Spontaneity is a luxury most new parents can’t afford. While it’s still possible to deviate from your schedule in little ways, parents obviously can’t take impromptu trips or nights out on the town. Rather, merriment is something that you have to plan in advance when you become a parent. What’s more, the nature of your time out will differ greatly. After all, a couple’s holiday is quite different from a family vacation.

Money Management & Budgeting

Think you’ve got a handle on your finances? Well, just imagine trying to form a budget with $14,000 less than what you currently make. Plain and simple, raising a child is expensive, and money will inevitably be tighter no matter your income level. Plus, having multiple kids will add to the financial burden!

Free Time is Relative

As we touched on above, having a child doesn’t mean you have to stop pursuing all of your hobbies outside of work and parenting. However, the nature of your free time will certainly change. For one, sharing an interest with your son or daughter can make it all the more rewarding. There are few things better in the world than seeing your little one develop a love of a sport, artistic endeavor, or recreational activity that you also enjoy.

Relationship with Your Partner Will Evolve

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to put romance with your partner on hold the moment you become parents. Yet, it’s naive to think that the relationship with your partner will remain exactly the same after you have kids. Rather, your partnership will have to grow and adapt to your new surroundings. Priorities will shift, fights will inevitably occur, but in the long run, you’ll likely learn to appreciate everyone in your family more after you welcome a child into it.

The Bottom Line

Becoming a parent is a big decision and it’s something that you shouldn’t take lightly. Take plenty of time out to do some soul-searching before you make a choice. Lastly, always check with your doctor if you feel you’re ready to conceive. They’ll be able to give you sound medical advice like if you’ll need a tuboplasty procedure or if you should change your diet.

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Family

3 Issues Which Could Help to Ensure Your Family is Prepared for the Worst

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As all of us know, the first few years of parenting can be an absolute whirlwind. Looking after little ones is all-consuming and can ultimately mean we have few opportunities to actually sit down and think beyond the short term.

However, despite those challenges, it is still very important to consider the future and even approach subjects that most people actively avoid talking about. Sadly, losing loved ones and experiencing other difficult moments is a part of life and, as such, it is important to think about the steps you can take to be prepared when the worst happens. Here, we outline a few issues which we think could be a vital starting point.

Personal insurance

One issue you might not have got around to looking at since becoming a parent is the range of insurance you have in place. Having kids is a huge moment and you need to ensure that any existing policies for matters such as health or life insurance remain fit for purpose. In terms of the latter, worryingly, research released last year actually suggested that only 59 per cent of Americans currently own life insurance in some form.

Another matter which should be reviewed is your home insurance, as it is worthwhile reminding yourself of the terms of the policy and whether anything needs to be changed now children are in the picture.

Business insurance

For a great number of us, work is a major source of pride and we take a lot of care to ensure that we always perform to our best. However, errors and problems sadly can arise and that is why protection is needed, particularly if it is your own business.

Having the right insurance can help in this regard and many providers offer cover which is tailored to suit specific occupations. For example, Next Insurance offers HVAC insurance, which is designed to ensure contractors involved in air conditioning are covered for everything from injuries to damage to a client’s property.

Writing a will

Stopping for a moment to think about our own mortality can be tough, but death is an issue we should not ignore. Time and time again we see headlines in the news about the likes of Prince or Aretha Franklin passing away without a will in place, but sadly the same thing happens to many normal Americans too. In fact, a 2017 survey by Caring.com estimated that more than half of people in the US do not have a will.

Leaving a clear and concise will is very important, as it should ensure that your friends and family have a proper understanding of how your estate needs to be handled when you die. Furthermore, it should go some way towards minimising the risk of them falling out regarding such issues.

Preparing for hard times

Thinking about worst case scenarios can be very difficult and often emotional, but sadly it is vital that many of us do it. We hope the ideas above may help you get started on ensuring both you and your family have measures in place for when life gets tough.

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