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Communication & Depression


Children often feel insecure about themselves and their social acceptability. Consequently, they are extremely vulnerable to pressure from their peers to fit in. Students who develop high self-esteem and healthy values are less likely to give in to peer pressure to drink or use other drugs. In order to build your children’s self-esteem, it is important to develop a relationship with them that is based on mutual respect.

  • MAKE TIME FOR YOUR CHILD.   Find an activity you enjoy doing together and pursue it.
  • LISTEN, REALLY LISTEN.   Learn to draw your child out about things that are important to him/her, and listen with your full attention.
  • TALK, REALLY TALK.   Talk to your child about applying the Christian values and virtues of honesty, responsibility, modesty, integrity, and moderation.
  • SHARE YOUR FAITH AND SPIRITUALITY.   Teach your teen to pray about issues.
  • ENCOURAGE CRITICAL THINKING.   Your child will continue to make decisions about whether to smoke, drink, use other drugs, or be sexually active.
  • TEACH REFUSAL SKILLS.   Discuss lines and comebacks. Discuss or role play situations that challenge the child to act.
  • TOLERATE DIFFERENCES.  Freely talk about topics where all people do not have the same opinion.
  • GIVE TEENS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN PROBLEMS.   Let your child experience the consequences of his/her own behavior, even if these consequences might be embarrassing or uncomfortable.
  • TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO ACCEPT AND LEARN FROM THEIR FAILURES.   Young people need to understand that the only failure is in not trying. Mistakes are not failures. Mistakes simply provide us with new information that can help us to succeed.





Depression can be confused with feeling sad, grieving, or having a hard time. Depression can be set off by life events, and may have a hereditary component. Children under stress, who experience loss, or who have attention deficit disorders are at a higher risk for depression. Often friends, relatives, and teachers are in the best position to recognize when someone is in trouble.


Talk to your child. Don’t be afraid to ask your child if he or she has thoughts of suicide or depression. Asking if he or she is suicidal will not encourage it; in fact, doing so will likely discourage it and lead to getting help. The truth is that once the depressing and frightening thoughts inside your adolescent’s head are out in the open, they become less threatening. A combination of symptoms below may signal depression:

 *  Change in weight or appetite  *  Losing interest in usual activities
 *  Change in sleeping patterns    *  Experiencing prolonged fatigue or loss of energy
 *  Taking unnecessary risks  *  Feeling of self-hatred, guilt, or worthlessness
 *  Speaking, thinking or moving slower than usual  *  Having difficulty concentrating or making decisions
 *  Placing oneself in risky sexual situations    *  Displaying restlessness, tantrums, fighting
 *  Wishing to be dead, thoughts of death, suicide attempts  *  Abusing alcohol or other drugs
 *  Sudden drop in academic performance    *  Severe reaction to unexpected stress (e.g., death, accident)
 *  Severe reaction to cumulative stress (e.g., school, athletics, peer pressure, family problems, etc.)

When a person is depressed, uncommunicative, withdrawn, and is experiencing a series of stressful life events, there is reason for even greater concern. If suicide appears imminent, do not waste time feeling guilty, angry, or upset. Take action!


Call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, a trusted health care professional, or one of the resources listed in the resources section of this site.



Reviewed and endorsed by Dr. Robert Furey, Psychologist, Licensed Professional Counselor



Published by Parent Network of Catholic High Schools ...................................................