This is a guest post by Mikalea Brus.
Children are just as susceptible to depression as adults are. Therefore, it is important to know the warning signs of depression, so that you can do whatever you need to as a parent. If treatment is not found as soon as possible, then depression can have lasting effects on your child. In fact, it can lead to many different emotional and social problems for your child. These problems can last well into adulthood, so it is important to take note!
Children can have bad days every once in a while, but if you notice that your child is going through the same funk for a matter of weeks, this can be a huge warning sign. If your child cannot explain their feelings, it may be wise to seek treatment. During these episodes, children may miss out on important school assignments and isolate themselves from their friends. Also look out for lack of interest in normal pleasures and withdrawn attitudes.
2. Extreme Reactions
If you notice that your child is reacting too extremely to a sad event, this could be a big warning sign. This is especially true if the catalyst is something seemingly frivolous. Be on the lookout and always assure your child that you are there for them in these tough situations.
3. Change in Habits
If you notice that your child may not be eating the same way they usually do or that they are not getting enough sleep, then this may be a sign. They could either be sleeping too much or not sleeping enough, eating too much or not eating enough. These are important things to look out for. Also watch out for changes in exercise & of course, substance abuse.
4. Low Self-Esteem
If your child is showing that they are not happy with themselves, then this is a warning sign as well. If they make comments that degrade themselves or make a comment that they are not good enough, then consider finding them a therapist. They may need help and it may not be enough to just talk to you. Let your child know that they are worthy of love and that they are good enough to do anything. This will usually help boost up their self-esteem.
5. Changes in Appearance:
If you notice that your child drastically changes their sense in style, stop showering, or stop caring about their personal appearance all together, this may be a sign of depression. Just determine why it’s happening. Are they excited about a new look or scene, or do they not care anymore?
Any drastic changes you can see in your child is a warning sign of depression. It is important to get them as much help as possible to help them get through any problems they may be facing. Children are not always going to want to talk to their parents about certain problems though, so it may be best to let them see a therapist. Sometimes, it is best for them to talk to a stranger in a comfortable setting. Once a problem has been detected, a therapist will then help you find the right steps to treating it. Always be respectful of your kid’s privacy, but also be willing to step in to help solve problems. If you can’t afford a therapist, at least talk to someone at your local school or consult the public library for books on the topic.
Author Bio: Mikalea Brus writes about parenting, family finance & frequenting www.creditreport.org.