How to help a child who’s dealing with depression
Dealing with depression for an adult is hard enough, but for a child, it can be very hard because it’s hard to diagnose a child. It’s normal for children to experience ups and downs, but if they’re experiencing more downs than ups, you may want to suspect depression and get them professional help.
The good thing about children is that they often do not try to hide their feelings. They may tell you they are sad. They may act cranky and they may cry a lot more than normal. If this type of behavior lasts longer than a couple of weeks, it’s a good idea to get them evaluated.
Other signs to look for include:
* They don’t enjoy normal things anymore
* They gain or lose weight
* They sleep too much
* They have insomnia
* They don’t want to be with people
* They have no energy
* They get mad easy
* They feel guilty
* They feel worthless
* They demonstrate signs of low self-esteem
* They can’t make choices
* Their grades drop
* They have undiagnosable aches and pains
* They think of self-harm or suicide
These are scary things that your child may be going through. The only thing you can really do is find some professional help. Get in touch with your child’s school counselor so that you can get information from teachers about your child’s school day. This can help you better understand your child and what they’re going through.
Keep the door open to your child, even when they are angry. Instead of reacting to their anger with anger, react with love. Let them know that you are there for them. If you’ve experienced things in your past that relate, talk to them about it. However, don’t tell them to snap out of it or pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Instead, just let them know how important they are and that you want to help them.
Find a professional that is used to dealing with children. The good thing about your child being underage is that you don’t need their permission to take them to a psychiatrist. Find one that has a lot of experience dealing with children so that they can get to the root of the problem.