While most people know depression affects a vast number of adults in the US, children can also be affected by depression. Often, the signs of depression are confused with normal transitioning and growing up. However, depression should be addressed as soon as possible to ensure the best quality of life for the child. Here are five major signs your child may have depression.
1. Anger/Irritability: Of course, it’s normal for children in development to express anger or feel irritable from time to time. However, if your child is consistently irritable to the point where you rarely see them in a good mood, this may be a cause for concern. Some children may throw temper tantrums, have vocal outbursts, talk back to the parents, and/or exhibit a general lack of patience.
2. Sensitivity: A child who is suffering from depression will often react in a more sensitive manner than they normally would. Obviously, this differs child to child, however if you are noticing that your child is not taking criticism as well or your child is exhibiting increased sensitivity to rejection, it’s possible that your child could be struggling with depression.
3. Impaired Concentration: Children with depression are often described as being “aloof”, perceived as not being able to pay attention for very long. The child might withdraw from conversations frequently, seemingly always fatigued despite getting the appropriate amount of sleep. This interferes with the child’s ability to stay present with everyone else, which contributes to the next sign.
4. Socially Withdrawing: Social time with other children is fundamental to a child’s development. If you notice your child pulling away from friends or classmates, this may be a cause for concern. For someone struggling with depression, social interaction can feel draining and intolerable. This is a definite cause for concern.
5. Expressing Sadness/Hopelessness/Worthlessness: If your child often describes that they are feeling sad, everything’s hopeless, or if your child expresses feelings of worthlessness, this must be attended to right away. While thoughts of death/suicide do not need to be present for a child to have depression, often times these thoughts are voiced in a different way with what they talk about and how they describe their feelings. If you have any concern that your child is dealing with thoughts of this kind, seeking treatment is a priority.
Our director Dr. Jolene Ross has many years of experience treating depressed children naturally with neurofeedback and other complementary types of therapy. Schedule a free consultation to learn how Dr. Ross can help improve your child’s quality of life, a crucial piece of healthy child development.
First image courtesy of jeswin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Second image courtesy of Vlado at FreeDigitalPhotos.net