What To Do If Your Child Shows Signs Of Depression

What To Do If Your Child Shows Signs Of Depression

Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home. So many people across the world suffer from depression. People have experienced depression in different stages of their lives and children are not immune to this mental disease. Similar to adults, the treatment for depression in a child can be critical. Looking for diverse ways to help a depressed child can prevent many years of severe mental pain and suffering or could even save that child’s life.

It is often thought that children do not get depressed but this is not so. Children do get depressed! According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, an estimated 2% of young children, and 4% to 8% of adolescents suffer from depression. Many parents think that childhood is a stage in a person’s life that is meant to experience constant satisfaction, bliss and perfection. The constant mood swings in children can be described to be like a sea.  Just as calm as the sea can be they can quickly turn into a stormy sea and then right back to a sunny, breezy sea. However, the current mood your child may be in should not be confused with depression.  Depression is as real and serious as it is in adults as it is in children. Even though depression can be found amongst younger children, it is much more common in teenagers. According to renowned research, about one in ten kids will generate a depressive disorder by the age of 16.

Effects of Depression in Children

Depression can have a strong hold on children and has severe consequences. Depression gives way to setbacks in any child’s social life, growth, and academic performance. Without effective and proper treatment, the mean period of depression in kids lasts for about nine whole months which is equivalent to a school year.

Adding petrol to the fire, people who suffer from depression as kids may feel its effects during adulthood. According to a research study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that adults diagnosed with depression as adolescents were at a disadvantage compared with those who never had depression. The findings showed:

  • Their average income was lower.
  • Fewer of them graduated from college.
  • They were more likely to be unemployed.
  • More reported having problems in their work and their social and family lives.

If you’re a parent and you would like to help your child through their depression phase, try first by looking out for its symptoms. Symptoms of depression in children include:

  • Irritability or anger
  • Continuous feelings of sadness, hopelessness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Increased sensitivity to rejection
  • Changes in appetite, be it either increased or decreased
  • Changes in sleep. be it either sleeplessness or excessive sleep
  • Vocal outbursts or crying
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue and low energy
  • Reduced ability to function during events and activities at home or with friends, in school, extracurricular activities, and in other hobbies or interests
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt

Possible Causes of Depression in a Child

Depression is a mental disease that can affect anyone—even a child or an adult that seems to be living a relatively comfortable and ideal life. There are so many causes and factors that play a role in depression. Biochemistry, genetics, personalities and environmental factors are some causes of depression. The basic difference in certain chemicals in a child’s brain may contribute to symptoms of depression. Depression can also run amongst families. In the case of twins being born, if one identical twin has depression, there is a 70% chance of the other having the disease some time in his or her life.

Children that lack self-confidence and self-esteem are easily overwhelmed and defeated by stress. Children that lack self-worth, are pessimistic tend to be more like to go through and experience depression.  Continuous exposure to violence, neglect, abuse or poverty may make some people more vulnerable to depression.

Other possible causes of depression in a child are:

1. Poor Nutrition

Poor nutritional diets can be associated and contributed to depressions in various ways. A deficiency in a variety of vitamins and minerals are associated and can cause some symptoms of depression. Recent studies show that nutritional diets that are devoid of omega-3 fatty acids or an imbalanced proportion of omega-6 to omega-3 are linked with increased rates of depression. In addition to diets that influence symptoms of depression, sugary diets can also be linked.

2. Physical Health Problems

The mind and body work hand in hand on a daily basis. If your child is currently experiencing a physical health issue, he or she may experience changes in their mental health as well. Illness is linked to depression in two diverse ways. The stress of having to deal with certain chronic illness may and can trigger a scene of major depression. Also, certain diseases and illnesses can trigger symptoms of depression.

3. Drugs

You may be asking yourself what exactly your children could be doing with drugs or alcohol at such a very young age. But you can never be too sure. Nowadays, the rate at which children and teenagers have been introduced to drugs and alcohol has drastically increased.  Drugs and alcohol can contribute to depressive disorders. But, even some prescription drugs have been linked to depression.

Some drugs that even aid in relieving pain or health issues have been found to be associated with depression include anticonvulsants, statins, stimulants, benzodiazepines, corticosteroids, and beta-blockers.

It’s important to review and properly research any medications that have been prescribed to you or your child.

4. Stressful Life Events

Children engage in so many activities and events. Some of which can be very stressful. Stressful life events, which overwhelm a person’s ability to cope, may be a cause of depression.

5. Grief and Loss

Children can easily be triggered emotionally especially when it comes to the loss of some they love such as a father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, sibling, close friend or pet. Following the loss of a loved one, grieving individuals experience many of the same symptoms of depression. Trouble sleeping, poor appetite and a loss of pleasure or interest in activities are a normal response to loss.

Treatments That Can Help Your Child

Depression is among the most treatable of mental issue. Between 80 percent and 90 percent of individuals with sadness, in the end, react well to treatment. All patients increase some help from their side effects.

Prior to a conclusion or treatment, a wellbeing expert should lead an intensive demonstrative assessment, including a meeting and conceivably a physical examination. At times, a blood test may be done to ensure the despondency isn’t because of a medicinal condition like a thyroid issue. The assessment is to recognize particular indications, therapeutic and family history, social components and natural elements to land at a finding and plan a game-plan.


Brain chemistry may add to a person’s dejection and may factor into their treatment. Consequently, antidepressants may be endorsed to help adjust one’s cerebrum science. These prescriptions are not narcotics, “uppers” or sedatives. They are not propensity framing. By and large upper prescriptions have no empowering impact on individuals not encountering discouragement.


This may deliver some change inside the primary week or two of utilization. Full advantages may not be seen for a few months. On the off chance that a patient feels practically no change following a little while, his or her therapist can adjust the dosage of the drug or include or substitute another upper. In a few circumstances, other psychotropic solutions might be useful. It is imperative to fill your specialist in regarding whether a medicine does not work or in the event that you encounter reactions. Specialists generally prescribe that patients keep on taking medicine for at least a half year after manifestations have made strides. Longer-term support treatment might be recommended to diminish the danger of future scenes for specific individuals at high hazard.


Psychotherapy, or “talk treatment,” is some of the time utilized alone for treatment of gentle despondency; for direct to extreme sorrow, psychotherapy is frequently utilized as a part of alongside stimulant prescriptions. Subjective social treatment (CBT) has been observed to be viable in treating dejection. CBT is a type of treatment concentrated on the present and critical thinking. CBT encourages a man to perceive misshaped considering and afterward change practices and considering. Psychotherapy may include just the individual, however, it can incorporate others. For instance, family or couples treatment can help address issues inside these cozy connections. Gathering treatment includes individuals with comparable sicknesses. Contingent upon the seriousness of the disorder, treatment can take fourteen days or any longer. By and large, critical change can be made in 10 to 15 sessions.

Electroconvulsive Treatment (ECT)

This is a medicinal treatment most normally utilized for patients with extreme significant discouragement or bipolar issue who have not reacted to different medications. It includes a short electrical incitement of the mind while the patient is under anesthesia. A patient regularly gets ECT a few times each week for a sum of six to 12 medicines. ECT has been utilized since the 1940s, and numerous long stretches of research have prompted real upgrades. It is typically overseen by a group of prepared restorative experts including a therapist, an anesthesiologist, and a medical caretaker or doctor colleague.

By | 2018-08-09T15:18:18+00:00 August 8th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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