19 May, 2021
19 May, 2021
Depression isn’t something only adults can experience. According to the CDC, depression affects 3.2% of kids between the ages of 3 and 17. However, the symptoms can be challenging to spot because they present differently in kids and teens than they do in adults.
If you think that your child is depressed, read on. This article includes common signs of depression in children and four things you can do today to help.
Young children often find it difficult to explain how they're feeling, while teens may attempt to hide their emotional pain, fearing judgment from others.
Because normal behaviors vary throughout development, it can be challenging to identify whether your child’s going through a phase, or if it’s something more serious. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, common signs of depression in children and teens last longer than two weeks and can include:
1. Be emotionally supportive. As an adult, you play an essential role in your child's life. Emotional support from a trusted adult can make a significant impact on their health. So, what can you do? According to NAMI, there are several things you can do:
2. Encourage a healthy lifestyle. Since physical and mental health is so closely connected, a healthy lifestyle can do wonders for symptoms of depression. Here's what you can encourage your child to do:
3. Help them feel connected. Depression can lead to isolation and withdrawal from family and friends. And often, this can worsen symptoms of depression. While depression makes it more challenging to socialize and interact with others, you can:
4. Contact a mental health professional. Depression can get better. But without proper care, symptoms can worsen over time. Therapists treat depression with talk therapy and can provide referrals for medication if needed. As a parent, you can choose to participate in parent counseling as part of the treatment, which focuses on ways parents can best support and respond to a child going through depression.
If your child is experiencing depression, they may benefit from working with a trained therapist.
Psychotherapy, medications, or a blend of the two has been shown to help kids with symptoms of depression. Depending on your child's unique situation, the kind of treatment recommended will vary.
Interested in learning more about mental health and how to help yourself and the ones you love?