If you suspect your child is depressed, it is critical to carefully examine your child’s symptoms. Depression symptoms can sometimes manifest differently in a child than in an adult, making it difficult to recognize the signs.
Knowing what to look for will assist you in identifying indications of depression and seeking help.
Symptoms to Watch out For
Depression symptoms in children differ slightly from those in adults. Whereas in adults, low mood and loss of pleasure are frequently the two predominant symptoms, children are more prone to experience primary symptoms such as impatience and physical complaints. Other indications of childhood depression include difficulties concentrating and making decisions, severe shyness, clinging to a parent, hopelessness, unexplained bodily complaints, sleeping issues, appetite changes, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Keep an eye out for the following indicators if you fear your child is depressed.
Many things can make children unhappy, including lost connections, schoolwork, failures, losing out on something, relocation, or the loss of a friend, pet, or loved one. Find out the cause of your child’s sadness and offer help. If feelings of sadness improve or fade in a matter of days, they are most likely unrelated to depression. Feelings of grief that continue for more than two weeks should be discussed with your child’s pediatrician.
Friends and family withdrawal
Most children’s friends will change at some point, and they will spend varying amounts of time with their parents. As youngsters grow older, they naturally distance themselves from their families and begin to identify more with their classmates. This is a crucial developmental stage to distinguish from social disengagement.
When depression is present, a social retreat can add to a child’s unpleasant social experiences, which can promote depressive symptoms (such as worthlessness or feeling like no one likes or understands them).
Disinterest in Activities
Your child may gradually lose interest in items they formerly enjoyed, such as a beloved toy or TV show, or they may abruptly proclaim that they no longer wish to participate in a favorite activity. This is not the case with a depressed child. A depressed child finds it difficult to find joy or excitement in anything. Your child can be uninterested in practically everything. Depressed children frequently appear to be going through the motions, with little joy or pleasure in what they are doing.
Every youngster will experience miscommunication at some point in their life. A depressed child may believe that no one understands their feelings and that talking about them is futile. Fear of rejection, misinterpretation, or ridicule may cause your child to avoid trying new things, speaking up, or sharing ideas.
Over time, children may experience academic highs and lows. Remember that coursework may get more difficult with the transition to middle or high school. A depressed child’s grades may suffer significantly. Missing school, having difficulty paying attention, or simply failing to complete work are all causes of such academic decreases. This may be more noticeable in a child who has previously excelled academically.
Everyone gets tired, especially after a long day, hard work, late nights, sicknesses, or exercise, but a sad youngster may appear to lack energy and motivation all the time.
Excessive and unremitting guilt is frequent in children with depressive disorders such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder depressed episodes, and dysthymia. Depressed children may blame themselves for anything that goes wrong, even if it is beyond their control. Sadness, worthlessness, and hopelessness can all be exacerbated by guilt. If your child’s guilt worsens, lasts longer than two weeks, and is accompanied by other symptoms of sadness, consult a doctor or a mental health expert.
Children with depressive disorders may feel worthless on a regular or long-term basis, especially after a sad occurrence. Children who have sentiments of worthlessness may believe they are weak, insufficient, or imperfect.
They may not put up any effort in school, participate in unstable relationships, or even attempt to interact with others because they fear their attempts will fail or produce extra issues.
Aggression and impulsivity
Some depressed children and teenagers may become furious at the people or things they believe are the source of their sorrow as a result of their feelings. This can result in rash and violent behavior. Impulsive behaviors are uncontrollable reactions to situations (typically unfavorable ones). Impulsive behaviors frequently, but not always, result in aggressive conduct. Aggressive behaviors can be directed inside, as in self-injury, or outward, as in furious outbursts, harassment, property damage, or violence.
It can be tough to tell if your child is depressed or simply reacting negatively to a negative incident, but you are not alone. Many parents have difficulty comprehending what their child is thinking and experiencing. Fortunately, there are numerous options for finding help and treatment.Featured Image Source: iStock
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