It's something that we all hope we never have to deal with, but depression in children is becoming more and more common. So how do you know if your child is depressed? What are the signs and symptoms? And most importantly, what can you do about it? Keep reading to find out.
***I am NOT a mental health professional or doctor. I am a mom passionate about mental health and am here to help.***
What are some of the signs and symptoms of depression in children
- crying more often than normal
- reoccurring stomach aches
- doesn’t want to get out of bed, go to school or do normal activities
- Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
- unexplained aches and pains
- increased irritability
How do I know if my child is depressed or just going through a tough time?
The list I provided above may sound like typical childhood/teen stuff. The difference is the time and duration of symptoms. Also if it interferes with day to day activities. If these have been going on for longer than normal then it is time to check in and seek a medical professionals help.
What can I do to help my child if they are depressed?
Check in with your child frequently. Ask questions but know when to pull back. (Quick tip that helps to get kids talking is to have a conversation when doing things. Driving is my favorite time. It feels less pressured. They are more likely to open up)
As a parent, it can be difficult to know how to best support your child when they are going through a tough time. If you think your child may be depressed, there are several questions you can ask to get a better sense of what they are dealing with and how best to help. First, ask your child how they are feeling and if anything in particular is bothering them. Encourage them to be open and honest with you. Next, ask whether they have been having any trouble sleeping or eating. Depression can often cause changes in appetite and sleep patterns. Finally, inquire about their interests and hobbies. Lack of interest in activities that used to bring joy is often another sign of depression. By asking these questions, you can gain valuable insight into your child's mental state and begin to formulate a plan for helping them cope with their depression.
It can be difficult to tell whether or not a child is depressed, but there are some key signs that you should look out for. If you suspect your child may be struggling with depression, it’s important to talk to them and get them the help they need. Depression can be treated successfully, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you think your child might be suffering from this condition. What are some of the signs that worry you could be depression in your child?
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