Signs Your Child is Suffering From Depression
Depression is a significant issue not just with adults, but children too. Their mental health is often overlooked and dismissed since children are less capable of expressing themselves or even understand what they are feeling.
Here are some obvious signs your child might be dealing with depression:
Constant feelings of hopelessness and sadness
It’s absolutely okay for children to be down with the blues. Everyone gets sad sometimes. However, if you notice your child feeling down or hopeless constantly, there might be a problem. Ask gentle probing questions to keep a track of how regular these blues are and look into it if you think something is off.
Irritability or anger
The quickest and easiest way for children to channel upsetting moods they don’t understand is through anger. Is your child lashing out often? Is he getting aggressive? Is he quick to feel irritated? It’s a good idea to try and get to the root of such behavior. More often than not, its because your child is upset and is dealing with some emotional instability.
Changes in appetite and sleep
Just like in adults, excessive or reduced sleeping and eating can be a sure sign of depression. These are coping mechanisms that help avoid and replace unpleasant feelings. While excessive sleeping can also be a sign of vitamin deficiencies, there’s no harm in making sure your child is doing okay in the mental health department.
Thoughts on death and suicide
These are disturbing topics for a child to be thinking about. Recent family deaths or the death of a pet can cause the child to think about these things. But if this is happening out of the blue or continues to happen for a strange period of time, don’t let it slide.
Withdrawal from socialization and other activities
This is one of the most prominent symptoms of childhood depression. When depressed, it’s common to lose interest in activities and events that normally bring joy and delight. In that case, it’s just a lot easier to withdraw from socialization because instead of making the child happy, they just exhaust and upset her. If your child is experiencing this, it’s a cause for alarm and a check-up is in order.
There are also other symptoms of depression such as increased sensitivity to any kind of rejection, emotional outbursts, reduced attention span, constant fatigue, phantom pains (aches that aren’t being relieved through treatment), and feelings of guilt.
The stigma around mental health often causes most harm to children who are silenced before they even have a voice of their own. It’s time to break that cycle.