Saturday, October 5, 2019

Is Your Child Suffering From Depression?

The happiness of your children is obviously going to be very important to you. No parent wants to think of their child suffering from depression, or anxiety. Yet, unfortunately, mental health issues are very common in children, and can easily slip under the radar and not get diagnosed. 

How Do Mental Health Issues Get Overlooked So Easily?

Very often, wider mental health issues can be disregarded as ‘a phase’. It can be blamed on the age of the child, or it may even get completely missed because your child may be an expert at hiding feelings from you that they are embarrassed about having or don’t fully understand. Some children are not able to articulate how they are feeling about something, and instead, their depression or anxiety can manifest in some other unwanted behaviours. 

What To Look Out For

There are many changes that may occur in your child if they are suffering from depression. Their appetite may change, and they may be eating a lot more, or much less, or even avoiding eating completely. You may have noticed that they don’t seem to be able to concentrate on things so well anymore. They might not be able to hold a full conversation and may seem distracted. There may be times when they seem irritable, or even lose their tempers, or change moods rapidly. 

Have a look at how they react to the things that they love doing. If they don’t seem so keen on their hobbies and interests, it may be a sign that they are struggling with some mental health issues. If they are hiding away from friends and spending less time around people in general, this can be a sign too.  

What Action Should You Take

Firstly, you need to understand that the way that they are acting is not something that they have control over. Avoid telling them to keep their chin up, or to get over it. Instead, let them know that you are there for them and that you understand them.

If you worry that they have a bigger problem, you may need to help them get the support that they need. This may come from a counsellor who specialises in supporting children, or your teenagers may need to look at mental health programs for young adults. Taking your child to visit your doctor will be useful in the first instance, as they can rule out any physical conditions that may be causing knock-on symptoms. 

Remember, Your Child Is Struggling

You will need to take on board the fact that your child is going through some complicated life issues. You will need to make sure you don’t come across as being negative about their condition, or acting as though they are a burden because of it. You certainly should not be nagging them or making them feel bad about suffering from depression. Try and find positive ways to engage with them, and be sure that they know that they have your support

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