5 Signs Your Child is Clinically Depressed and What To Do

The problem of depression in children is one that can be difficult to identify and address. Not only are we faced with the problem of how to cope with an issue that affects many families but few are interested in discussing with their family and friends. One of the main problems for most parents and caregivers is the fact most children find it difficult to express their feelings but there are some ways of identifying clinical depression in children, WebMD reports. Once these symptoms have been identified you should set out to help your child cope with their feelings and address the cause of their depression problems.

1. Irritability or anger

In younger children, the common way of identifying clinical depression in children has often been to look for signs of anger and irritability. These signs have always been looked for by psychologists and other medical professionals who have taken them as a sign of depressive thoughts.

Some of the thinking about clinical depression in children has shifted in the last few years to identify this as a single symptom and not an undeniable sign of clinical depression. However, most medical experts do agree with the symptom of anger being a major sign of clinical depression in children in their preteen years.

2. Physical changes in your child

A simple way to identify clinical depression in any child is to look for physical and mental changes in their everyday life. However, this is often a difficult thing to do because it can be difficult to identify the changes you need to spot to help your child through their clinical depression.

Some of the most common physical and mental symptoms to look for in a child that is clinically depressed include changes in the sleep pattern of a child. Depression can take different forms and make a child sleep more throughout the day and night or limit their sleep. The same can be seen with eating as depression takes hold. Your child may not want to eat because of the sadness they feel or could find themselves eating more than ever before.

3. Concentration is difficult

We often feel we should look towards the way a child acts at school as we seek to identify the simplest ways of identifying clinical depression in your child. We often associate depression with difficulty in concentrating at school. However, you should be keeping an eye on a child you believe could have clinical depression when they are taking part in their social activities.

A child could become withdrawn when they are around friends and family members, but this could be a sign of maturing into a typical teenager. In sporting activities and other extracurricular activities, a child could find difficulties in focusing on something they previously enjoyed spending time doing.

4. Low energy levels

A simple way of looking for clinical depression symptoms is to identify when your child has low energy levels and is difficult to motivate. Of course, children do go through periods of low motivation and a child not wanting to go to school on a Monday morning should not be seen as a sign of clinical depression. A child who show low motivation levels and a lack of energy for prolonged periods should be seen by a doctor to check they are not suffering from clinical depression.

5. Suicidal thoughts

The first step to take in this situation is not to shy away from any discussion or thoughts of suicide as this can leave your child thinking they are not being taken seriously. Parents and caregivers should be willing to address questions and thoughts of suicide when their child brings the subject up.

Once you have addressed the question of whether your child is affected by clinical depression, you need to take the next step of deciding how and where to get some help. Your child may find themselves in need of a little work with a psychologist through therapy or in need of more socialization to improve their skills, Eluna reports.

One of the best things a parent or caregiver can do for their child is to address it directly and let them know it is not a topic that should be hidden away. Instead, regular conversations between parent and child should be undertaken with you, the parent researching as much as possible to aid your child.

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