Depression In Children: 18 Identifying Signs of Childhood Depression

Depression In Children

Your doctor may recommend a mental health professional like a psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment. According to a 2012 study, a combination of psychotherapy and medications can prove beneficial for the child.

Therapy approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy are highly recommended, while antidepressants may also be prescribed. However, it should be noted that certain antidepressants can increase the risk of suicide. “Treatment must take into account the severity of depression, suicidality, developmental stage, and environmental and social factors,” adds the study.

2. Talk with your child

Speak openly with your child and talk to them about their thoughts, emotions and experiences at school & at home or about bullying.

You should also encourage them to express their feelings. Provide them reassurance that it’s okay to feel sad and depressed and there is no reason to feel guilt or shame. Encourage them to open up instead of suppressing or hiding their emotions. Focus on building open communication and ask questions frequently in a kind, supportive and caring way.

Depression In Children: 18 Identifying Signs of Childhood Depression
Depression In Children: 18 Identifying Signs of Childhood Depression

3. Encourage them to seek help

Let your child know that they are not alone and that there is nothing wrong with them. Acknowledge and validate their thoughts and emotions and be supportive.

Let them know that you are always there to help them and they simply need to reach out. You can also talk to other caregivers like family members, siblings, teachers, coaches or counselors and tell your child to ask them for help, if they need to.

Read also: The Antidote for Teen Depression

4. Seek support

Helping a child overcome depression can be challenging at times. That’s why you need to talk to your loved ones and ask them for support and be involved in the child’s treatment and recovery.

You can talk to your spouse or partner, family members, relatives, friends, teachers, coaches or any other individual who interact with your child frequently. Ask them to keep an eye on your child’s behavior, help the child when they need it and let you know about any unusual behavior.

5. Teach emotion regulation

Help your child learn healthy strategies for managing their thoughts and emotions, problem solving skills and ways to deal with failure in a positive manner. It can also help to talk to them about the importance of physical and mental health.

Depression In Children: 18 Identifying Signs of Childhood Depression
Depression In Children: 18 Identifying Signs of Childhood Depression

Here are some other coping strategies that can be helpful –

Educate yourself and other family members about childhood depression

Follow a healthy lifestyle and make sure they get enough sleep, follow a nutritious diet and engage in physical activity or exercise regularly

Restrict the use of technology & screen time and keep them away from social media

Encourage them to be more social and spend enough time with family and friends to avoid isolation

Ask them to do some chores or run errands as giving them responsibilities can help build self-esteem and sense of purpose. Reward them for successful completion of tasks.

Avoid minimizing their feelings or telling them how the child should feel instead. Listen to them and provide support.

Create a positive, loving, fun and supportive environment in your home by minimizing conflict with other family members

Be mindful of how you behave around them or react to them on a daily basis

Teach them relaxation and mindfulness techniques

Encourage them to attend doctor’s appointments, therapy sessions and take medications as instructed by the doctor

Spend quality time with your depressed child and involve other family members in fun activities

Practice positive reinforcement and praise good behavior

Create a list of important numbers to call in case of an emergency

Keep sharp or potentially dangerous household objects like knives, scissors, ropes, alcohol, sleeping pills or other medicines away from the child’s reach

Read also: 6 Tips To Reduce Self-Harm In Children

Childhood depression is devastating, but treatable

Depression in children can adversely affect a child’s development and impair their ability to function properly even in adulthood, when left untreated. This is why it is crucial that parents learn to identify the red flags and warning signs of depressive disorders in their children as early medical treatment can help the child recover before symptoms get worse.

Moreover, it is also important that you take certain proactive steps to cope with your child’s condition and support them in a non-judgmental way.

As children are often unable to communicate their thoughts and feelings, as a parent you need to encourage them to speak up and ask for help, when they need it. With effective treatment and support children can recover from this mental illness and live a healthier life.

Read also: 12 Ways To Protect Your Child From Stress

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the worst thing that can happen to a kid with depression?

Some of the things that can happen to a kid with depression are bad performance or productivity at school, they may become socially isolated, and may experience difficulty maintaining interpersonal relationships with family and friends

Is saying your depressed the same thing as you saying your sad?

Sadness is an emotion that people universally experience, whereas depression is a mental health condition that impacts an individual’s life.

How can a person find inspiration again after depression?

Having depression can make a person aloof and withdrawn from their surroundings. Finding a hobby or passion, seeking therapy and focusing on self-development can be helpful to combat this condition.

How To Spot Depression In Children pin
How To Spot Depression In Children
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Depression In Children: 18 Identifying Signs of Childhood Depression
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Depression In Children: 18 Identifying Signs of Childhood Depression
Depression In Children pin
Depression In Children: 18 Identifying Signs of Childhood Depression
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Depression In Children: 18 Identifying Signs of Childhood Depression
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Theo Harrison

Hey there! I am just someone trying to find my way through life. I am a reader, writer, traveler, fighter, philosopher, artist and all around nice guy. I am outdoor person but heavily into technology, science, psychology, spiritualism, Buddhism, martial arts and horror films. I believe in positive action more than positive thinking.View Author posts