Depression is a mental disorder characterized by persistent feelings of hopelessness, sadness, melancholy. In extreme cases, it also involves having suicidal thoughts, and the subsequent enactment on them. This disease is prevalent in people of all ages.
However, it is harder to diagnose in children. Since they themselves can’t express their thoughts properly, and many times their mood swings are passed off as signs of growing up etc., the disease is not caught timely by the parents.
The lack of treatment not only has a dire impact on the mental health of the children, it greatly affects the quality of their life later on. Therefore, in order to ensure the health of the children, parents should look out for the signs of depression in their children and get them much-needed treatment.
Following are some of the signs that are commonly present in children suffering from depression.
The children suffering from depression are in a perpetual state of sadness. They are cloaked in melancholy and despondency. If the child stays in this mood for over two weeks, it should raise an alarm with the parents.
If the child gets irritated very quickly and experiences anger all the time, it is likely that the child is experiencing depression. Take them to a mental health specialist if you experience any of the signs.
The patients of depression tend to be very pessimistic and hopeless. They lack a positive outlook. Children suffering from depression have a similar negative take on life.
Children suffering from depression isolate themselves. They withdraw from social activities that they might have enjoyed previously.
5-Changes in sleep pattern:
Those suffering from depression either experience insomnia or sleep more than usual. This anomalous sleeping pattern should be flagged by the parents.
Arising from feelings of low self-esteem and worthlessness, the children suffering from depression experience suicide impulses. In extreme cases, the child may even act on the impulse and attempt suicide.
The children may deliberately harm themselves, an example of which is cutting.
The children may eat less during the bouts of depression or go on binge eating. Such changes in weight are indicative of depression. Take them to a therapist if your child has major weight fluctuations.
Depression can be treated in children and if caught timely, with minimal damages to their psyche and their future prospects. The symptoms experienced may vary from patient to patient and setting to setting. Therefore, in case any combination of the above-mentioned symptoms is observed in the child for some time, it is best to consult a professional.