The cases of childhood depression are recently increasing around the globe. Generally, depression is related to adult illness. However, children can also develop depression over a gradual period. If you see your child agitated and sad for a substantial period, you must do a depression check in the early stages to treat the cause and let your child enjoy their everyday life without any peace.
Common Symptoms Of Childhood Depression.
Even though depression is considered a serious illness, it can be treated if diagnosed at the right time. Since childhood depression cases are growing, it becomes essential for parents, teachers, and adults to learn about the symptoms and prevention of the illness.
Finding the symptoms of childhood depression can be a daunting task as the symptoms vary in children. In most cases, the symptoms of depression are overlooked and treated as psychological changes.
Many children show low mood and agitation if they are depressed. While it’s easy to diagnose primary symptoms, secondary symptoms can trouble children and adults. Some of the common symptoms of depression that parents and adults must check are:
- Social Isolation: If you see your child is hesitant in connecting with other children and adults, you must take a check on their social interactions. If the child constantly pushes people away and dodges social communication, it is likely that the child has depression.
- Constant Anger and Agitation: If the child gets angry even in the smallest conversations, you must recognize their anger pattern. If the agitation increases over time, you must take it as early stages of childhood depression
- Low Energy and Fatigue: Low energy and fatigue are one of the common symptoms of childhood depression. If your child gets tired of performing simple tasks, you should treat it as a symptom of depression.
- Change in Appetite: If your child suddenly starts eating too much or less, you must take a toll on the digestive health first to check for health problems. However, if all the reports are positive and your child still has unnatural eating patterns, you must consider it as childhood depression
- Lack of Concentration: Children who suffer from depression often find it difficult to concentrate on small things like studying, playing, learning, and more. If you witness that your child is facing difficulty concentrating on a particular task, you must take necessary prevention and reach out to therapist and health consultants.
Even though we mentioned some of the known symptoms of childhood depression, there are various other symptoms that a child face when they suffer from depression. If you see any usual behavior in your children that has persisted for a long period, you must take it as early stages of depression and take necessary precautions from the beginning.
Causes of Childhood Depression
Depression in children is associated with multiple factors. If parents have a history of depression, the child is expected to fall in the lap of the mental disorder. Physical health, lifestyle changes, biochemical disturbance, environment, and more contribute to the causes of childhood depression. Any child can develop depression. Generally, depression is said as a sign of weakness. However, there are various causes that cannot be prevented by parents and adults.
Diagnosis of Childhood Depression
If you think your child exhibits any of the symptoms that are mentioned above, you should consult your child’s pediatrician. Since there are no specific tests to find depression, there are various psychological assessments that can evaluate the symptoms of depression. If depression is diagnosed in the early stages, it can easily be treated with various methods and medications. If the child is diagnosed with a mental disorder, it is classified into three different types which are:
If your child is diagnosed with mild depression, it can be treated easily without any hassle. However, in cases of severe depression, the recovery process takes a longer period.
Treating Childhood Depression
Childhood depression can be treated by various methods. If the symptoms of depression have lasted for more than six weeks, the treatment process is advised depending upon the type and severity of depression. Some of the ways through which depression is treated are:
👉Medications: There are various antidepressants that are available for young children who suffer from depression. However, the use and dosage of antidepressants should be subjected to professional medical guidance. All the antidepressants available must not be given to children without the prior consultation of doctors. In the first few weeks, consumption of antidepressant tablets has been linked with suicidal thinking. However, under expert supervision, medications can do wonders for children who suffer from depression.
👉Coping: If your child is diagnosed with mild depression, lifestyle and environmental changes are some of the effective ways to cure the mental disorder. Some of the coping techniques that parents and adults can use to treat childhood depression are:
- Regular exercises
- Consistent sleep patterns
- Rich social life
- Emotion management
- Positive approach towards life
- Reward-based approaches
👉Psychotherapy: In case you are not aware, psychotherapy is a process where an expert helps your child build the skills to manage their depressive thoughts and actions for a better life. In most childhood depression cases, psychotherapy is turned to be beneficial for parents and children. Sometimes psychotherapy is mixed with medications to treat depression cases in young children.
Childhood depression has become a major concern in recent period. As a parent, it has become essential to understand the symptoms and causes of depression. There are no specific triggers that can reveal childhood depression. However, if you see unusual behavior in your child, you must sit down and listen to their concerns. In many cases, a positive conversation and mindset help in treating mild depression. In severe depression cases, you must take all the precautions that are defined by medical experts. Since depression can walk in anytime in the future, it is advised that parents must seek knowledge about the future effects of depression along with the reoccurrence of the mental disorder.
Amanda Wingfield is a certified Diabetes Management Specialist who also holds an MD in Endocrinology, with certifications from ABIM and AACE. She has a decade of experience serving thousands of patients through her independent practice and has been working in the capacity of an expert diabetes consultant for the past 4 years. Ms. Wingfield is revered by her regular readers for her in-depth research and evidence-based analysis of diabetes medications, supplements, and treatments, and her highly critical style of writing.