Depression is no longer a problem of grown-ups. Incidence of childhood depression is increasing at a rapid pace. One out of twenty teens suffers from depression. Depression is also affecting kids between six and ten years of age. A kid, born in the 21st century, is ten times more likely to suffer from depression, compared with children born in the last century.
According to pediatricians, clinical depression in children and teens could not be shrugged off as a passing phase in the child’s life. Depression is no longer seen as a normal stage of development. It is considered as a serious long-term disease. Depressed children are more likely to have alcohol and drug problems in their early adulthood. And to make matters worse, it has been found that one out of ten kids suffering from serious depression before puberty, commit suicide. Teen suicides are increasing at an alarming rate.
As parents, we should take prompt action when we notice depressive symptoms in the child. If depression is treated in the initial stage, your child can easily adjust to his normal life.
Symptoms of depression
Certain ailments are linked to poor mental health. If your child regularly suffers from headaches, nausea, stomach pains, sweaty palms, insomnia or is over sleeping, and the symptoms do not subside with proper medication, it is possible that he is suffering from depression.
Sudden change in behavior
If you notice sudden change in your child behavior, which is radically different from the behavior of normal children, it is possible that he is suffering from depression. Often during adolescence, children experience mood swings. If the sudden and intense change in temperament lasts for over a fortnight, and is becoming more intense, you should consult a psychiatrist.
If your child shows signs of hopelessness, which lasts for a long time, he might become a victim of depression. Sometimes teenagers are preoccupied with death. There daily social and academic lives might suffer from the prolonged sadness. Friends, teachers and relatives close to your child, may notice these behavioral changes. Listen to what others have to say about your child. Sometimes the child might ask you for help. Before things get out of control, visit a pediatrician or a psychiatrist, who could help your child.