- by Dr. Saxena's Clinic
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- Oct 07 2017
Depression in Children: Symptoms and Prevention
Depression in children isn’t like the usual tantrums and sadness your child shows for a couple of days over something but is a medical condition that can last for months or even years if it isn’t attended to and treated. Do you ever think that your irritable or unhappy adolescent might be experiencing teen depression?
What are the symptoms of Teen Depression?
Unlike common emotions, depression starts to disrupt their everyday activities, their sadness or unusual actions become persistent. Physical symptoms could be restlessness, changes in appetite leading to weight loss or excessive gain, fatigue and inability to sleep.
Behavioral changes are most evident. They begin to withdraw from all social activities and stop playing with their peers. A significant dip in school performance and lack of concentration or interest is also observed. They are easily irritable and have this constant negativity and sense of worthlessness.
In major cases, they could show signs of suicidal tendencies, bipolar disorders, and exhibit harmful behavior showing a lack of value for one’s life.
What could be the reason?
Many factors could be a cause for depression. From physical health conditions, certain events in one’s life or family history to the everyday environment they grow in are all possible factors. Depression is also said to be a genetic disorder because children whose parents suffered from depression are at higher risk at an early stage itself. Children who abuse drugs and other substances are also under high risk of chronic depression.
How do you prevent depression?
Although some factors cannot be controlled the triggers the onset and the signs of depression, there are certain things you can incorporate in upbringing to avoid depression especially if they are prone to it.
The most important factor in parenting is communication. It is very important for your child to understand that they can and should share everything with you and be honest so that you can be an active part of their life. This way they will understand that there is someone who will always have their back no matter what.
Disciplining your child is undoubtedly vital but resorting to extreme methods is not advisable as it can create a very negative impact. A balanced approach with reduced negatives and more encouragement and advice will yield better results.
Support your kid’s aspirations and let them pursue their hobbies or anything they’re good at to build their self-esteem. Most importantly, let them live and learn through life by experiencing happiness as well as disappointments so that they are prepared for everything in the future from the real world.
What are the warning signs of teen Suicide?
Teen suicide is a serious problem in an adolescent. Family difficulties, relationship problems, the loss of a loved one, or perceived failures at school can lead to negative feelings and depression. The warning signs of suicide with childhood depression include:
- Expressing hopelessness for the future
- Threatening to kill one’s self
- Giving up on one’s self
- Starting to use or abuse drugs
A proper diagnosis through therapy and questionnaires based on personal information can throw light on depression or deeper-rooted concerns like OCD, ADHD or Bipolar disorders.
Antidepressants are used as a last resort as medication for children isn’t particularly advisable unless it’s unavoidable.
Psychotherapy is the extensively used treatment method that involves mental health counseling by a therapist to cope with depression and solve the reasons causing it.
If you think there’s something wrong, consult a doctor today itself to nip it in the bud.
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