Childhood depression is growing at a breathtaking pace with one out of every thirty children suffering from it.Childhood depression is a very sensitive issue which needs to be treated immediately. Children are delicate and innocent; they exhibit depression in the form of various behavioural patterns and thought patterns.
Childhood depression is similar to depression in adults, but their way of expressing it is different. There are certain specific behaviours which vary in children and adults. A child will never say that he or she is “depressed”, but may express it in the form of a sad mood, anger or unhappy emotions. If your child is sad it may not mean that he or she is depressed, but if your child is sad persistently, he may be suffering from depression.
Parents have to be very careful and alert in watching their child’s changing behaviour. There are many warning signs for diagnosing childhood depression. It is the responsibility of parents to look for signs of danger and help the child deal with it.
What Are the Symptoms of Depression In Children?
Children often show different signs of depression than adults. Generally, adults may face sleeping problems, apprehension, irrational fear etc; children on the other hand would just have an irritable mood. Despite of being depressed children will tend to enjoy some activities.
Here are a few symptoms of depression in children. Not all children experience all the symptoms.
Anxiety: Children will express their mental disturbance in the form of their behaviour. Anxiety is one very common sign of depression. The child may appear scared, anxious and apprehensive. If you come across such signs, try to find out the reason causing depression.
Turmoil and Sadness: The child may appear very irritated and sad almost every day. They may feel guilty or hopeless and could even cry easily. Their misery could cause them to lash out in anger.
Trouble in Organising Thoughts: Depressed children may face concentration and memory problems. It becomes difficult for them to stay attentive in class or at home thus, causing an inability in coping up with school work.
Loss of Appetite and Sudden Weight Loss or Gain: Change in appetite and excessive weight loss without dieting is another sign of depression in children. The child may either feel very hungry or not feel hungry at all. Their diet may increase or decrease.
Sleeping Problems: The child may lack enough sleep or may sleep excessively. They may face trouble in falling asleep or sleeping comfortably once asleep. They may end up sleeping during school hours.
Lack of Interest: Depression can lead to a significant decline in the interests of the child. The child may feel extremely disinterested in doing daily activities like playing their favourite game, interacting with friends, participating in games, going out etc. They may often complain of being bored.
Guilt and Worthlessness: Children with depressed feelings may find them themselves guilty and useless every day. They constantly remind themselves of their failures and mistakes and feel guilty.
Negative Thoughts and Suicidal Tendencies: Depression can cause the child to suffer from various negative thoughts. They may feel isolated and pessimistic all the time. They may perceive all the events happening in their life depressing and unworthy. They may also express their feelings of dying and suicide.
Demanding and Insecurity: The child may feel very insecure about certain relationships. They become extremely dependent on some relations and may behave in a highly insecure manner.
These are some of the symptoms of depression in children. If you find these signs in your child, visit an expert immediately. Good and proper treatment will help your child cope up with depression quickly.