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Saturday, December 09 2023
Know Your Child

Depression in children: As a parent what you need to do

Ramya Know your child 1 1
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It’s common for children to experience sadness, appear cranky, or have a negative mood. However, when a child’s sadness or bad mood lasts for a few weeks or more and there are additional behavioural changes, it may be depression.

Now how to know if your child is depressed Parents may notice some of these indicators if a child is depressed:

Moody or depressed

A child could appear depressed, lonely, unhappy, or cranky. It may continue for weeks or months. Children are more likely to weep. The number of tantrums they throw could increase.

Being harsh on oneself may be seen

Those who are depressed may grumble a lot. They could scold themselves by saying, “I can’t do anything right.” “I have no friends, I’m not able to do this.” “It’s too challenging for me.” They may seem pessimistic all the time.

Child’s energy might be drained

They may not work as hard in school as they once did. Even simple things can seem like they need too much effort. Children may act worn out, give up easily, or not even attempt.

Food and sleep patterns alter

Even if children receive enough sleep, they may not sleep well or appear exhausted. Some individuals might not be hungry. Few children may overeat. Some kids may have pains, such as stomach aches. Even when they are not sick, they miss school because they are not feeling well.

Why do children get depressed?

Depression can be caused by numerous factors. There isn’t just one reason. Some children are genetically predisposed to depression. It’s possible that they have relatives who have experienced depression. Some kids experience difficult situations. Some have experienced trauma, loss, or suffering. Some experience major medical issues. These factors can cause sadness or grief, as well as depression occasionally.

Extra assistance during challenging moments and afterward can help shield kids against depression or at least reduce its consequences. But some kids experience depression even with strong support. They can recover, feel better, and resume enjoying life with the aid of therapy.

As a parent what do you do if your child gets depressed?

Discuss feelings of sadness and depression with your child. Children might not understand why they are depressed or why life is so challenging. Inform them that you are there to support them and that you recognise the difficulty they are facing. Provide comfort, support, and love while you listen.
Make an appointment to see a child therapist. A child therapist (mental health professional) will speak with both you and your child for a while. They will listen and ask questions to conduct a thorough examination for depression. Your child’s therapist can explain how treatment can benefit them.

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Ramya E.

The author is a counselor and lifeskills trainer who has trained over 2000 students. She holds an M.Sc. in Psychology.

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