Like adults, children can also go through times of depression. In 2017, more children have been diagnosed with depression than ever before. This year, 11.93% of youth report suffering from at least one major depressive episode. Depression is dangerous for the health of your child and is important to monitor. So how do you know if your child is depressed? More importantly, how do you help them if they are depressed? Today, I’m going to go over ways to identify depression in the youth and the preventative steps you can take in order to help your child overcome their depression.
Depression: What Does It Look Like?
It’s important to be able to differentiate a child having the blues and them actually being depressed. The communication with your child is an important aspect of knowing what’s going on. Whether it’s problems at school, a broken heart, or just a fight with a friend, communicating with your child will help you identify the problem. Depression can revolve around sadness, a feeling of hopelessness, and mood changes. Has your child been locked up in their room all day? Some common symptoms in children can be anger, social withdrawal, outbursts, fatigue, changes in appetite, as well as feelings of worthlessness. Look for these symptoms and ask what’s wrong. With the right questions, you should be able to discover what the issue might be.
Depression: How Do You Overcome It?
With suicide being the third highest cause of death for young children, you should be worried for your child if they are displaying any of the common symptoms. If your child won’t open up, you can always try helping your child by bringing them to a mental health counselor. You can also visit most PCPs and specialists, as they would be able to give you a clear diagnosis.
Before finding out if your child is diagnosed with depression or not, it’s important to make your child feel loved. Also, make sure they know how important they are to you. If your child is diagnosed, then your PCP might recommend antidepressants to help your child. Take them out for a day, care for them, and be that shoulder. With support, love, and care, you can help get your child overcome depression.
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