Childhood depression is real. Clinical depression can happen to toddlers, pre-school age kids and even school going children. As of today, there are a number of treatment options and paid experimental trials available to solve this brain disorder. But before treatment comes acceptance of parents. As a caretaker, it is our task to identify the symptoms that the child is not happy and suffering from clinical depression. Today we bring a list of warning signs, as per http://www.webmd.com/, that can alert you.
As a caregiver, parent or guardian you should be vigilant and on the lookout for the following signs:
A drastic change in regular eating and sleeping habits or activities
Preference of isolation socially even from close family members
An increase in number of accidents and leaning towards risk taking actions
Talk of helplessness, death, suicide or dying. In general a communication of hopelessness with a focus on negative topics and morbid mood.
Increased levels of crying with more angry behavior and acting out
Giving property or possessions away to others
These signs can mean your child is at risk for suicide before the symptoms escalate a treatment should be looked out for.
The key point to note here is that symptoms of depression change from child to child. Why we failed to acknowledge childhood depression for so long was because we kept on passing every emotional or psychological change as normal aspects of growth and development. The most common evidence of depression is behavior with anger issues and constant mood changes very similar to adult depression. Childhood depression is hard to diagnose and treat because most symptoms also come under normal child behavior.
To differentiate between a healthy child and depressed child look for feelings of morbid sadness and hopelessness. A depressed kid is easy to anger and is always irritable. The feeling of sadness is a constant and continuous companion along with helplessness. A child with depression will always withdraw from his/her social circle so much so that there is no communication even with the family. They also stop taking part in events, activities and extracurricular at school and at home. Hobbies and interest hold no sway on them. There is a reduced ability to function.
Even the smallest of rejection can hurt them a lot as depressive children are especially sensitive to refusal. A severe change in eating style and appetite can also alert the parent easily. The change can go both ways – an increase or decrease of the amount of food consumed. The same applies to the sleep cycle. A change from the regular sleep pattern is a symptom of depression. This can mean excessive sleepiness or sleeplessness. An accompanying lack of concentration can also be seen in depressive children because they are low on energy and are always fatigued. Besides outrageous outbursts, in a child suffering from clinical depression, there are a number of physical complaints that cannot be cured by treatments like a stomachache or a headache. Be vigilant of these signs and symptoms in your child.