Symptoms of depression in children are often dismissed by parents citing as normal emotional and psychological changes that occur during growth. Usual parents and adults fail to recognize depression 30-50% of times. Children as young as 6 years fall prey to depression and further on attempt suicide. Statistics show how 3% -9% of teens would meet the criteria for depression at any given time. And 20% of individuals would develop depression by the end of adolescence. Prevalence of depression in school for children above 15 years is 8% to 11%.
Symptoms of Depressive Illness in children include:
- Low mood
- Lack of energy
- Social Isolation
- Inability to function at school.
- Lost interests in activities that was previously enjoyable.
- Extreme and or prolong reaction to a distressing situation.
- Issues with sleep and eating.
- Issues with focussing, concentration, attention.
- Inability to make choices
- Psychosomatic symptoms; aches and pain.
- Feelings of worthlessness, poor self-esteem or guilt
- Thoughts about death or suicide
Helping you child deal with Depressive Illness
- Create a nurturing environment.
Strengthen your parent-child bond. Develop healthy diet and sleep habits for your child. Encourage them to take up physical activity like a sport, etc. Help them create positive connections with people at home, outside of home and at school. Spend good quality time with your child and praise their good behaviour.
- Provide them with safety and security.
Talk to your child; find out what is troubling them and find out about the cause. Talk about the difficulties faced by them in school like bullying or academic pressure or stress, check if the stress rises from grief or loss. Do not trivialise their problem. Be supportive and help them cope with these issues. Reduce stress at home; avoid involving children in family, spousal or partner discords. Watch out for signs of suicide, as depression is a major cause of suicide.
- Educate yourself about the illness.
Psycho education is essential for you to understand the symptoms and the treatment plans of your child’s illness. Help your child understand their illness better and not succumb to it. Learn about signs and symptoms of suicide, like thoughts about death, talking about suicide, indulging in drug and alcohol, engaging in risk taking behaviours, etc
Treatment available for Depressive Illness includes:
Counselling helps your child identify their maladaptive behaviours and would help them develop better coping strategies and skills.
- Family therapy
Children of broken or divorced families find hard to cope with the ongoing stress. A lot of time depression amongst children stem from toxic environments created within the family dynamics.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
This therapy helps your child identify distorted thinking patterns and helps them overcome and change these thoughts.
- Interpersonal therapy (ITP)
ITP helps deal one on one parent child relationship; stressors between parents children are dealt within this therapy.
- Psycho pharmacotherapy
Antidepressants and other medications are essential with dealing the chemical imbalances in the brain that are the main causes of depressive illness.
Neurofeedback treatment lowers unwanted brainwave frequencies while encouraging healthier frequencies. This is done through simple repetitive training while being connected to the Neurofeedback application
Biofeedback majorly helps with reduction of physical manifestation of stress and depression and helps you deal with symptoms in a healthy fashion.
Lack of understanding about the difference between sadness and depression is the root cause of depression in children going untreated. Parents believe that if they divert attention and asking children to play some game and depression would fade away. As parents, identification of depressive illness in your child is a first step in getting the help your child needs. For depression treatment in children, call us now on +919741476476.