Children who are often in a bad mood for a long time are at risk of developing depression in children. If you see signs of depression in your child, it is very important to help them in a timely manner.
What is a depression in children?
It is normal for children to be in a bad mood, to be irritable or to think negatively – all this is part of their growing up. Children must go through a range of feelings and emotions to learn how to deal with them.
But depression is more than sadness or bad mood. Depression in children is a serious disease that can affect the physical and mental health of children.
At first glance, it seems difficult to distinguish between sadness and depression, but if you ask the child the following questions, it will be easier to understand the fact that something is wrong with your child:
- How long has a child been in a bad mood?
- How much is the child interested in daily activities?
- How significant is the impact of thoughts and feelings of the child in his everyday life?
You know your child better than anyone. If you feel that something is wrong with him, contact your pediatrician or psychologist.
If your child is depressed, it can be difficult for them to gain knowledge, make friends, and deal with most of their day-to-day responsibilities. If depression continues for a long time, it can affect your child’s growth, development, and learning, so timely and appropriate help is needed to heal from depression.
If your child says something himself about not wanting to live: “if I was not born” or” I would like to fall asleep and not Wake up”, you should take this very seriously and seek professional help without delay.
Signs and symptoms of depression in children
If you notice any of the following signs in your child, and the signs are manifest longer than two weeks, it is very likely that the child is depressed.
If your child:
- It seems sad or unhappy most of the time.
- Aggressive, hysterical, doesn’t do what you’re asking for most of the time.
- He says about himself in a negative way, for example: “I can not do anything …”, “I can’t cope with …”or” nobody likes me at school.”
- Feeling guilty, for example, saying something like, “it’s all my fault.”
- He continues to say that he has a pain stomach or head pain, while these problems do not have objective physiological or medical reasons.
Signs of depression in children also include changes in your child’s interests or energy levels in daily activities. For example, if your child:
- Doesn’t have as much energy as usual
- Doesn’t want to be around friends and family.
- Problems with concentration or memory.
- Has trouble sleeping, including nightmares.
Depression affects children’s thinking, mood, and behavior. Children in a state of depression are often negative about themselves, their situation and future. They may feel really hopeless.
Parents may hands down if the child behaves defiantly or does not want to be near them. But if the cause of this is depression, the child needs parental love, attention, and care of loved ones who could support him and send him for treatment.
How to help your child at home
Along with the help of specialists, you can help your child in several simple and effective ways:
If your child suffers from negative thinking, you can model positive ways of thinking. For example, you can say something like: “I am very happy when we play together”, ” It was fun!”Or “I knew I could do it.”
Manage your child’s stress and tension by regularly finding time to relax and for activities that make your child happy. A sustainable family daily routine can also help reduce stress.
Download apps to your smartphone or tablet to help your child learn relaxation strategies. Such programs describe and control the performance of exercises aimed at deep breathing, muscle relaxation, visualization and awareness of what is happening.
Take time to talk to your child and listen to everything he has to say about his health. You can do this when you cook dinner together, read a book, take a walk, drive a car or play at home.
If a child is depressed, he or she may not be interested in returning to socializing with friends, physical activity, or simply a daily joy. But fun and active to spend time for him, as before, it is necessary, so encourage him to start small and at least half an hour playing with friends.