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Child Depression

IS YOUR CHILD DEPRESSED?

Depression Can Affect Children As Well

Many of us would feel that this is just a child, how can he/she be depressed? Perhaps it’s just a mood swing or a phase. Yes, that happens too. Not every child who seems sad or introverted is depressed. But if you notice a significant change in your child’s behavior, which he just doesn’t seem to be ‘getting over’ and is adversely impacting his school work and/or relationships, perhaps it’s time to pay attention.

While the basic understanding of depression remains the same, the symptoms may manifest a little differently in children. Children do not understand or express emotions like adults too. While it is easy for us to be concerned about sadness or crying, it may be relatively difficult to be empathic when the child is being “difficult” instead. The internal discomfort the child feels might get expressed in anger, irritability, clinginess, tantrums, fears, crying, lethargy or aches and pains. Changes in sleep and appetite are also warning signs.

The Changes You See May Involve:

–The child may seem withdrawn and avoid being around people. Your friendly prankster might suddenly refuse to even greet or go near guests.

–Food habits may change with an increase or decrease in appetite or excessive fussiness about choice of food.

–Sleep may get disturbed with the child sleeping too much or too little or waking up multiple times in the night.

–The otherwise bright and smart child might have difficulties with concentration and seem lost, distracted or confused. Academic performance may decline.

–He may suddenly lose interest in his favorite activities and just not care about his video game or cricket match.

–Might avoid friends or pick up fights with them for no reason.

–Frequent stomach aches and headaches, with no underlying medical reasons

–Low frustration tolerance. He might get angry and even violent at the slightest of provocation. Tantrums, disobedience, stubbornness and lack of cooperation are also possible.

–Crying spells and emotional over-sensitivity

–The seemingly hyperactive road runner may just lie around in the house doing nothing.

–Attention seeking and clinginess.

Some or most of the above symptoms might be present. The need to see a mental health professional or a psychologist/counselor. Treatment should be decided by the severity and intensity of the symptoms and whether the symptoms are affecting the child’s daily life and his interactions with others.

Post contributed by: Mahima Gupta (Psychologist, Inner Space, 2010-2012)

1 thought on “IS YOUR CHILD DEPRESSED?”

  1. Hi Deepika,
    Thanks for writing in.
    We understand it might be frustrating for you when your child enagegs in this behavior. However hitting your child may not be healthy in the long run.
    It might be helpful to investigate what factors cause such behaviour in him. There could be emotional, developmental or a combination of factors.
    We would be glad to help you with child counseling.

    If you wish to book an appointment, call us on 9833985538. The timings for telephone enquiry are 11am to 7pm, Monday to Friday. Please call us 4-5 days in advance as our slots usually get full. If you have any other queries you can write back to us or call us on the above number.

    Thanks and Warm Regards,
    The Inner Space Team

    If you wish to book an appointment, call us on 9833985538. The timings for telephone enquiry are 11am to 7pm, Monday to Friday. Please call us 4-5 days in advance as our slots usually get full. If you have any other queries you can write back to us or call us on the above number.

    Thanks and Warm Regards,
    The Inner Space Team

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