Do you worry that your child might be depressed? As parents, we never want to see our children sad. When the sadness prolongs for no reason, it’s easy for us to blame ourselves and become frustrated.
If your child is persistently sad or feels hopeless, it could be a sign that he or she may suffer from depression.
What is Depression?
Depression is a mood disorder that leads to constant feelings of sadness or a lack of energy and motivation. It can affect how you think, feel, behave and cause various physical and emotional problems.
Common Causes of Depression
Peer pressure and academic expectations may trigger depression in adolescents.
Children are likelier to experience sadness and depression when they deal with tough life circumstances. In childhood, both girls and boys are almost equally affected. When it comes to adolescence, girls are affected twice as much as boys. This is quite similar to the adult rates.
The signs and symptoms to look for in adolescent depression are:
Sadness or hopelessness
Loss of interest in activities
Lack of energy
Irritability, anger, or hostility
Poor school performance
Changes in eating and sleeping habits
Lack of enthusiasm and motivation
Treatment for Depression
The good news is that there are several medical treatments for depression. Treatment may include psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), or even antidepressant medication.
Antidepressant medications relieve the symptoms of depression and prevent it from coming back. If medication isn’t an option, there are natural wellness techniques worth trying. Exercising, meditation, and yoga are useful techniques that research has proven can help alleviate stress and balance your child’s mood.
Keep in mind that you’re not alone. You can take other steps to help better navigate you and your child through these difficult times. There are outreach programs and support groups in your community to assist with your child’s mental health needs, or that can point you in the right direction. With the right tools in place, your child will be headed to recovery and live a fulfilling life free from the effects of depression.