In adults, periods of exhaustion and melancholy occur roughly every 2 weeks, but what to do if a child has real depression?
Parents make a big mistake when they write off their children’s complaints about poor health, fatigue, and crankiness as a demand for attention or hormonal surges.
The pace of life for preschoolers and teenagers is very different from that of adults. They also develop many times more intensively, acquiring new experiences literally every day. It is quite easy to diagnose depression in a child if he or she does not show a healthy interest in things that interest normal children of the corresponding age. There may be a reason to be concerned if a child:
- is irritable, sad, withdrawn, or bored most of the time;
- doesn’t enjoy games and usual activity;
- sleeps too much or too little;
- loses or gains weight drastically;
- feels hopeless or helpless;
- has difficulty in making decisions;
- gets tired quickly;
- thinks about death or suicide;
- shows a decrease in performance at school or kindergarten.
Don’t rush to teach the child all possible positive practices. It might not help! All children are different and no one can guarantee that dancing around the fire will work. You know your child better than anyone, so along with a doctor, you will be able to find the right approach.
1. Learning about the problem
Tell your child about depression and make it clear that there is nothing “wrong” with him or her. Perhaps there is some emotional turmoil inside of which you are not aware. If your child is getting poorer academic results, don’t resort to scolding in order not to develop the added feeling of guilt.
Involvement and consultation is an important step towards returning to normal life. Kids are recommended games, and teenagers cognitive-behavioral therapy.
3. Medications and hospitalization
Most severe cases (attempted suicide, for instance) may require medicinal treatment and therapy under careful supervision.
At home, be attentive and try to show interest in the child’s activity, and instill good sleeping and nutritional habits. At school or kindergarten, talk with the supervisor or teacher and ask to reduce the demands on your child, encouraging his or her initiative.
With sufficient attention, depression, like any other illness, will be defeated!
The material in this article is for informational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a certified specialist.