Childhood is the most glorious phase in an individual’s life and is nothing less than a blessing. With this said, people tend to believe that childhood is such a wonderful life with nothing to worry at all. There are parents who don’t even know that childhood depression is a fact. Sadness is a typical feature common to all human beings irrespective of age, sex or status. Persisting sadness could lead to depression and even children are no exception to it. Since depression in children is quite different from that of adults, it fails to register on time and this makes things go worse. Though the term ‘depression’ is unimaginable with childhood, it does exist.
Are children problem-free?
Lack of responsibilities doesn’t make childhood hassle-free. Children have their own things to worry about, like failure in an exam, bullying by school-mates, peer-pressure, hectic school schedule and lack of entertainment. Other than these, there could be stronger reasons like loss of a parent or sibling. Being sad doesn’t simply mean that your child is depressed. But if the sadness lasts long, it may indicate a symptom of depression. As a parent you could do a lot more to make your children happier. So it’s good to know about depression and its far-reaching implications in your ward’s life to prevent or treat it on time.
The symptoms of childhood depression
There are numerous symptoms that a child exhibits when in depression. While some are quite common with all children, some others are solemn. There are also children who display symptoms similar to that of adult depression. If there is a family history of depression, more care should be taken. Some of the symptoms are-
- Loss of interest in activities, especially in those they were fond of.
- Inability to sleep properly
- Temper tantrums
- Loss of appetite
- Mood swings
- Complaints of physical pain
- Guilt feeling
- Lack of concentration
- Learning problems
- Hopelessness and lack of confidence.
- Emotional outbursts
- Hyperactivity at times.
- Thoughts of death
As mentioned earlier, since some of the symptoms are common, it’s better to lookout for recurring symptoms and behavior before finalizing. Though the most persistent symptom of depression is sadness, sudden fall in school performance and studies is likely to catch more attention. The symptoms are not alike with all the children and are greatly influenced by their family and social settings. It has also been observed that some children behave and function normally even with considerable indications of depression. Some even display suicide tendency. When these symptoms clearly barricade family, social and school life medical assistance is necessary. Remember that depression can be treated and cured.
Your role in treating your child
When you find your child to be a victim of depression, the first thing you should do is to spend more time with your child.
- Talk to him a lot and encourage him to speak his heart out. Never make him feel lonely.
- Be a good friend rather than a figure of authority or a judge of what is right or wrong.
- Seek medical help if needed and make him feel that you would be there to support him through this.
After all it is rightly said that childhood forms the foundation of a person’s character and personality and it is your responsibility to gift your child with the most beautiful phase of his life.