Traumatic early childhood experiences, frequent migration, educational failures, family history of mental illness and stress at school can be some of the reasons for a child’s depression.
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Apart from adults, depression can also affect children and teens. A survey conducted by ICICI in 2017 reported that 65 per cent of young adults between 22 to 25 years showed early signs of depression.
Signs of Depression in Children
- Withdrawal from friends
- Lack of communication
- Poor performance at school
- Excessive eating or complete loss of appetite
- Crying for no reason or severe response to slight disapproval
- Lack of interest in everything around them
- Unexplained complaints of stomach ache, back pain, and headache
- Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- Excessive use of social media
- Talking about suicide
- Lack of responsibility
- Use of alcohol, drugs
How to help a child with depression
Talk to your child
Most persons with depression are scared of stigmatization and anticipated discrimination, so they prefer to keep it to themselves. This fear of stigma is even greater in a young person, especially when they are passing through many physical changes and don’t have a lot of awareness. A child should be encouraged to talk about his/her feelings. A parent or guardian should listen and acknowledge their feelings.
Create an open atmosphere
In some cases, a child may be develop negative feelings due to condemning parental or teaching style during early childhood. A harsh and tense atmosphere at home creates fear in a child, which initiates a torrent of biochemical changes that contribute to depression.
Get to know your child’s friends
It’s important to know your child’s friends and imbibe a positive impact on them if you want to impact your child behaviour. If your child is exhibiting strange behaviour and refusing to communicate, try to talk to his/her friends and get to understand your child’s behavior through the friends.
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Don’t give up on your teen
As teenage starts, you child may refuse to communicate despite your repeated efforts. They might also reject the help you try and give them, but you don’t relent in your effort. Set up a daily routine at home and try to talk to your child face to face until the barrier is broken.
What parents should know about a child with depression
- Avoid making your child feel that depression is a sign of weakness.
- You can be positive about their health and equally concerned
- Never make it all seem like your depressed child is a burden on you.
- Treatment options for childhood depression is also available.
- Talk to your children, they will often tell you what they feel or may completely resist telling you about it. Make sure that you notice mood changes, irritability and other signs and hence, are able to track their condition too.