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Depression In Children: What Parents Need to Know

May 17

Even the happiest of children might be grouchy or depressed from time to time. It is important to note, however, that if a child's negative mood persists for many weeks or longer, it may be a sign of childhood depression.

Therapy can help children who are in a state of grief or despair. Parents, on the other hand, have a role to play. A kid's health may improve if he or she receives the proper care.

If your child's sadness persists for more than a few weeks, make an appointment with your child's doctor.


What Are The Signs That My Child Has Depression?

If a kid is sad, their parents may notice some of the following symptoms:

  • I'm in a bad or depressed mood. Depressed, lonely, or sad children might be irritable. It might last for several weeks or even months. Crying is more likely in a child.
  • They might have a harder time throwing a fit than usual.
  • Self-criticism is a state of mind. Wailing is a common symptom of depression in children. It's common for individuals to say things like, "I can't do anything well." The narrator continues, "I don't have any friends." "I'm sorry, but I'm not up to it," he said. In my opinion, it's impossible.
  • There is a dearth of effort and vitality on display. Depression may sap the vitality of a youngster. The amount of effort they put in at school may have decreased.
  • Even the simplest of tasks may become overwhelming. Children may show signs of exhaustion, give up too readily, or just refuse to try.
  • Things aren't going as planned, and I'm worried. Kids aren't having the same amount of fun playing with their friends as they used to. They may no longer have the desire to engage in activities they formerly enjoyed.
  • Sleep and eating patterns have shifted. Even if a child gets enough sleep, he or she may not be able to sleep or seem tired. It's possible that some people will not want to eat at all. Some people may overindulge in food.
  • Aches and pains are rather frequent, unfortunately. Some children may suffer from stomach aches or other ailments. Even if they aren't sick, some kids take time off from school because they aren't feeling their best.

Depressive Disorders In Children Can Have A Variety Of Causes

Many things can lead to child depression. There isn't a single reason why this is happening. Some children are genetically susceptible to depression. There is a chance that they have other family members who are grieving as well.

Some youngsters have to deal with a lot of stress. We all know someone who has suffered some sort of setback. Major health issues plague certain people. In certain situations, these occurrences might lead to feelings of melancholy or grief, as well as depression. ​

Extra support during and after stressful times can help children prevent or reduce the effects of depression. Some children get depressed despite receiving a great deal of assistance. Therapy can help patients recover, feel better, and go back to their daily routines.


For Children With Depression, What Is The Best Way To Treat It?

Depression in children is treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) (CBT). Therapists help youngsters overcome their insecurities and find a sense of belonging. A child's thoughts and feelings are encouraged by them. Stories, plays and seminars can be used to assist children learn. These tools can help children relax and get the most out of CBT. When at all possible, the therapy of a kid should include their parent.

For children who have been affected by loss, trauma, or another life-altering event, therapy includes components that help in their rehabilitation. The child's therapist can help a grieving or sad parent get the care and assistance they need.


If I Have Reason To Believe My Child Is Suffering From Depression, What Should I Do?

Take the following measures if you believe that your child is depressed:

Talk to your youngster about feelings of sadness and despair. It's possible that kids don't comprehend what's going on or why things are so difficult for them. It's important to tell them that you understand their situation and that you're eager to help. Be there for each other and be there for each other.

Schedule a visit with your child's primary care physician. Contact your child's doctor if his or her moods continue for more than a few weeks. However, this does not automatically suggest that the child is depressed. Your child's doctor should know if you've seen a change in his or her sleep, eating, energy, or effort. Inform them if your child has had a setback, is under a lot of pressure, or is through a trying period.

The doctor will do a physical examination. The doctor can search for any health concerns that may be causing your child's symptoms by doing a thorough examination. A depressive disorder can be diagnosed with the use of psychological testing. Your child's doctor may suggest a child therapist. The doctor's office may have a child therapist on staff.

Consider seeing a child psychologist. In order to discuss your concerns, you and your child will meet with a child therapist (a mental health doctor). They will do a thorough investigation of depression by asking questions and listening. Your child's therapist will be able to explain the benefits of treatment.

Your child's therapy appointments should be attended by you. A few or more sessions may be recommended by the therapist. Even while you may not see immediate improvements from therapy, you will.

Keep calm and considerate. When your child is cranky or uncooperative, try to be calm and patient with him or her. Your child's therapist can offer guidance on how to handle this type of behavior. Before directing your child to improved behavior, it is often essential to establish a calm rapport with them. As an alternative to feeling bad about themselves, this teaches young people to take pride in their achievements. It lets them know that you share their pride.

Make the most of the time you have with each other. You and your child will both benefit from spending time together doing activities that you both like. Go for a walk, play a game, cook a meal, read a book, do a craft, or watch a funny movie to decompress your mind and body. Spend some time outside if you can. These things help to cultivate a positive outlook in a subtle manner. There is a greater sense of intimacy between you and your child because of them.

If you think your child needs a therapist, feel free to contact:

Dr. Maryann B Schaefer Psychotherapy
5 Travers St, Manhasset, NY 11030
(516) 627-1145