What is Childhood Depression
Does your child seem persistently sad these days? Aren’t you sure about the reason behind his sadness? Then instead of worrying, the immediate step what you need to take is to look for the signs of depression if any. You might think that it is common to be sad for kids at any point in time. But if the child seems persistently sad or hopeless, it might indicate that he or she may suffer from childhood depression.
Childhood depression is persistent sadness. When a child suffers from depression, he or she feels alone, hopeless, helpless and worthless. If this type of sadness doesn’t end up, it disrupts every part of the child’s life. It interferes with the child’s daily activities, relationships with peers and family members as well. Though the causes of childhood depression are unknown, it could be caused by some factors such as life events, family history, and physical health. Childhood depressions are mostly seen in children of age 6 to 12 years.
Childhood is a time of joy and learning. Kids always try to explore new things. So, it is parent’s responsibility to make the childhood of their kids more memorable. The impact of parental care has a greater influence on the chances of the child to suffer from depression. Childhood depression can be diagnosed and treated with medications if recognized early. If it is ignored and left untreated, it may turn into a serious depressive disorder which can lead to suicide. To know how to recognize whether your child is depressed, know the signs of childhood depression and how to deal with it to.
Signs and Symptoms of Childhood Depression
The symptoms of childhood depression may vary from child to child. In most cases, the childhood depression goes undiagnosed and untreated as the symptoms are often misguided as the normal emotional and psychological changes that occur during growth. The signs and symptoms of childhood depression include:
- Changes in appetite – either increased or decreased.
- Insomnia or excessive sleep.
- Trouble in concentrating
- Lack of energy or unable to complete simple tasks.
- Social withdrawal
- Low self-esteem
- Frequent thoughts of death or suicide
- Sad or irritable mood for most of the day.
- Increased sensitivity to rejection.
Tips To Help A Depressed Child
A good family support really helps a child to recover from depression. When the parents come to know that their child suffers from depression, they are probably scared and feel helpless. It is tough for parents to deal with their child’s pain, but here are some tips which help them to make their depressed child feel better.
- It is important to pay attention to child’s feelings and observe the changes in kids.
- When the child becomes anxious about a situation or event, stay calm to avoid further behavior complications.
- Praise small accomplishments when your child completes a task or school project.
- As children with depression can have trouble in focusing, there might be a lack of progress in academics and other activities. It is better not to punish them and help to achieve their goals.
- Recognize the things that kids are good at and help them develop those skills.
- Instead of always telling kids what not to do, support them by giving positive feedback and encouragement.
- Establish a good daily routine and have a regular conversation with kids about how they are feeling. Remember not to put probing questions to kids, which may make kids anxious and irritated.
The above-mentioned are the tips to manage a child with depression. Though family support has a great influence on the child to recover from depression, childhood depression requires professional help. Similar to the treatment for adults, childhood depression is also treated with psychotherapy and medication. The treatment depends on the severity of depression. If the depression is mild to moderate, it can be treated with medication. But if the child doesn’t recover from the medications, he might need psychotherapy.
It is very important to parents to observe the changes in their children from time to time and take appropriate action immediately. Seeking medical help always avoids further complications. If the depression is ignored or left untreated, its consequences can be extremely serious, even deadly.