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Depression is a word that is almost never associated with children.
But in the last decade or so, there have been many instances where even children have suffered from depression.
It is quite natural for a child to feel sadness occasionally. However, when that sadness becomes persistent, it falls under the category of depression.
Also, when their sadness starts interfering with day to day activities, family life, social life, school work and interests of the child, then it is probably depression.
But parents often ignore childhood depression thinking it is just normal emotional behaviour of a child that happens during the growing stage.
The result is that childhood depression is left undiagnosed and untreated. This eventually creates problems during adulthood as well.
The good news is that childhood depression is curable. Online depression counselling can help in treating childhood depression.
Now, the question is, how do you differentiate between just sadness and actual depression in children?
One thing you can do is look out for the below-mentioned symptoms of depression in children.
Remember that different kids would display different symptoms of childhood depression.
In fact, depending on the situation and the setting a child is in at a point of time, the same child may display a whole different set of depression symptoms.
Social withdrawal. Kids with depression would start to avoid their friends. They would stop interacting with other people and excuse themselves from social situations.
Crankiness. Kids can get cranky when they don't get enough sleep or rest. When a child is cranky without any obvious reason, it might be a symptom of depression.
Increased sensitivity to rejection. Rejection is a part of life. When a child becomes increasingly sensitive to rejections, it might be a telltale sign of depression.
Constant sadness. No child should be sad constantly. When you notice that a child is sad all the time, that child may be going through depression.
Emotional outbursts. Children with depression find it hard to regulate their emotions. When a child is having emotional outbursts frequently, know that that child is suffering from depression.
Changes in appetite. Another common symptom of childhood depression is changes in appetite.
If a child starts eating more than or less than the usual amount of food, then she or he might be facing depression.
Decreased focus. When a child has depression, there is a decline in their focus level. The child would find it hard to focus on studies and leisurely activities.
Changes in sleep pattern. One of the first signs of childhood depression is a change in sleep patterns.
The child with depression might start sleeping more than usual. He or she might also spend very less time sleeping.
Fatigue. When a child goes through constant fatigue, that child may have depression.
Feelings of guilt. A child who has depression might keep feeling guilty even for things that have nothing to do with that child.
Feelings of worthlessness. Feelings of worthlessness are often felt by people with depression. The same applies to kids with childhood depression as well.
Physical illness that doesn't respond to treatment. Is a child constantly falling sick with aches, pains, fever etc.? Are no amount of medicines and treatments working like they should?
Then those physical illnesses might be symptoms of childhood depression.
Thoughts of death or committing suicide. A child with depression might be obsessed with everything related to death.
He or she might talk about committing suicide. The child might even read articles or watch videos about committing suicide.
Facing difficulties in simple activities or events at home, school or certain social environments.
When a person's mental health is suffering, then that person finds it difficult to carry out simple tasks and activities that are a part of their regular life.
The same thing happens to a child with childhood depression.
Childhood depression should never be ignored. No matter how mild it may seem, you should always get it treated.
OnlineCounselling4U can help you connect with top online counsellors in India and abroad.
Our online counselling services are available in multiple languages. And the online counseling sessions can be scheduled for a time that's convenient to you.
When childhood depression is diagnosed on time, it can be treated with psychotherapy. In some cases, medication might be needed along with regular counselling.
It has been found that children as young as three years old can suffer from childhood depression.
Certain stressful events, family history, physical health issues, environmental factors and biochemical imbalances can all lead to depression in children.
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