Depression in children is something that exists. It’s not a mental disorder that only adults can have. This guide will go over the seven signs you need to know about.
We’ll also explain through the guide why this needs to be taken seriously. Depression is known for leading to severe consequences, including suicide. Your child’s depression must be diagnosed and treated properly.
BasePoint Academy has additional information on how you can get help for your child. Check it out here and see what your next steps should be if your child is demonstrating these seven signs. Let’s get started with the list of signs to look out for.
Decreased interest in activities
There is bound to be something that your child enjoys doing. It can be an activity that they can’t get enough of doing. However, if you notice a decreased interest in the activities they enjoy doing, this can be a sign that they may be depressed.
There may be times when they don’t feel like doing it, and that may be fine. However, if this is consistent with some of the other signs we’ll be mentioning, getting them the help they need as soon as possible is important.
Depression can be diagnosed by a mental health professional, including one that specializes in children’s mental health. Keep in mind that these symptoms can last two weeks or more. These can also occur during certain times of the week.
There may also be specific stressors that can trigger anxiety or any signs of depression. The difference between depression and anxiety can be made, even though they share some of the same symptoms. So it’s important to get a preliminary idea of what they may have before they are diagnosed by a mental health professional.
Social isolation may be normal when a child is usually shy around people. However, if they are around people, they tend to be happy. When they are depressed, they don’t feel like talking to anyone (not even their friends).
They may feel like they’re being left out or choose not to talk to anyone. This may be a sign that something is amiss. Whether they might not feel like talking to anyone, you’ll want to try and talk to them to see what’s going on.
Figuring out why they may be depressed can also be a challenge. You may be aware of certain events that happened, including the death of a loved one or even a traumatic event. If you notice this social isolation continuing for as long as two or more weeks, it may be a good idea to ensure they get the help they need.
It can be a distressing situation and may lead to something worse if nothing is done about it.
We can get irritable at times when we’re stressed out. But if they are more irritable than normal, something can happen. They may sound it in their voice or get a little angry over the little things.
If this is noticeable along with other symptoms, this may be a sign that depression is possible. Your child may be irritable at things that may seem easy to do but seem to be making mistakes. Thus, they may also have difficulty concentrating (we will discuss more in the next point).
A child may have difficulty concentrating on their homework or paying attention at school. They may also suffer the same thing doing non-school tasks that require focus. This symptom is common in most disorders, including anxiety.
If you hear of reports about this from teachers, this may be a sign that your child may need to be evaluated. As it is a common symptom, it may be hard to tell what kind of issue they may be dealing with. That’s why it is important to look out for all the other signs that may occur along with this.
Major changes in sleeping and eating patterns
This is perhaps one of the more common symptoms of both anxiety and depression. Sleeping patterns in your child can occur. They might be sleeping earlier or even later at night.
They may also tend to sleep through the day. Meanwhile, they may also have changes in their eating patterns. They may choose not to eat because they don’t feel like it.
Eating patterns can also be associated with some of the physical symptoms of depression. This can include stomach aches and nausea. This could discourage a person from eating even their favorite foods.
It’s important that when your child’s depression is manageable through a treatment plan, you can make arrangements for them to sleep regularly each night. Also, they can be able to eat as usual.
Talking about running away from home
Children may understand the fact that running away may be the solution to getting away from their problems. It could be due to the environment they feel uncomfortable in. Family issues can also be to blame for depression, which can lead a child to run away from home.
If they talk about it or even attempt it, this may be a major sign for you to have them evaluated for a mental issue they may be facing.
Talking about suicide or death
Suicide is one of the major issues that can stem from depression. If a child is talking about killing themselves or even death more than regularly, these may be some warning signs where you need to take action. Even more alarming is that the number of suicides among children ages 5 to 11 has increased in recent years.
If that is one more reason why you need to take depression seriously, this should be it. Don’t let depression and suicide hit close to home with the death of your child.