Depression is a serious problem which can affect anyone irrespective of age and gender. Specially, childhood depression will have very serious impact on your child, family and society if not dealt with properly. It is different from the normal lows and blues because of a Monday or a fight with a friend. So a parent needs to pay special attention if the child’s behavior is different from usual, to find out if the child is having any depression issues.
Causes of Childhood depression:
There are many causes that result in depression in children. Most commonly known causes are loss of beloved ones, witnessing fights between parents often, lack of attention from parents, bullying by fellow kids, more academic stress than the child can handle, hormonal changes and disorders, verbal and physical abuse. Stressful environments are more difficult for the children to handle than adults as they cannot analyse the situation to the fullest. It is harder also because children might not find a easy and suitable way of expression or vent as much as adults do.
Identifying Childhood Depression:
There are some symptoms and behavioral changes which you can watch your child for identifying this condition. Unusual irritability and anger, withdrawal from friends and being aloof all the time, Changes in sleeping and eating habits, Sudden decrease in concentration in academics, Lack of interest in things which the child enjoyed before etc. More important is the subtle way in which a parent should identify these things. A direct confrontation might result in denial which will make the healing process even more difficult. It might result in a conflict or trust issues between the parent and the child. So patience and diplomacy is very important while trying to identify if your child is depressed.
Treating Childhood Depression:
Once you identify and suspect that your child may be under depression, you need to be on mental alert all the time. Be careful in the words you use around your child. Make an observation of the changes in your child and the intensity of the changes. Discuss with your family members, especially with whom your child is closely acquainted. Do things that will assure your child that you are a well wisher and are open to any discussion. Seek the help of a professional counselor anonymously if you feel the depression is very intense. With the help of the counselor, identify the cause of the child’s depression and try to redeem the situation. Avoid fighting or loud arguments in front of your child. If the child is depressed by a loved one’s loss, assure that they would want the child to move on and prove to be a successful person in the society. Lots of patience would be required in handling this situation because some children might not understand it easily and will prove to be a lot more difficult. Read motivational stories to the child and assure that life opens another door when it closes one.
Love, care and concern are major healers when it comes to handling depression in young children. Helping your children to get out of depression will increase their trust on you and will assure them that they can come to you for any guidance without hesitation.