According to Key Data on Adolescence from the Association of Young People’s health, as many as 8,000 children below the age of 10 suffer from severe depression as of 2013. This statistic is startling considering the age range. Note that the depression rate is high and the percentage of suicide amongst young people have rocketed by 68% in the last ten years. Therefore, the importance of understanding depression in children is of great importance.
Therefore, the importance of understanding depression in children is of great importance. Due to this reason, the research in human behavior has increased. There are no definite causes of child depression known so far. However, experts believe that some of the underlying factors may include family matters like the death of a parent or sibling, separation between the parents, as well as physical health and the environment. Physically disabled or deformed children are more likely to suffer from depression in the childhood.
Following are the symptoms of depression in children:
1. Does Your Child Have Irregular Sleep Pattern?
One of the key symptoms of depression amongst children and adults is an irregular sleep pattern. A depressed child would either stay awake or sleep excessively. The reason behind this can be stress that barricades the regular sleep pattern.
2. Does Your Child Feel Intimidated In Social Gatherings?
Children are naturally shy but they gradually gain confidence to speak, act, talk, sing, and dance as they grow. The development and growth allows them to mingle with people easily. They enjoy friendship with unfamiliar people. But if you realize that your little Timmy or innocent Cathy wants to run away from people persistently, you better stay alert.
3. Frequent Mood Swings
Children who are subjected to depression often exhibit abnormal behaviors and demeanor. They would easily be anguished upon petty issues or express no reaction at all. Depressed children tend to stay quiet more often and reflect hopelessness in their attitude.
4. Food Aversion Or Excessive Craving
Loss of appetite and excessive craving are also some of the symptoms of depression that exist equally in children and adults. There are children who would abandon their meals, while at the other extreme, depression-stricken child may become gluttonous and eat more often.
5. Lack of Concentration
Depressed children are unable to pay attention the things happening around them. The rising complaints from school about poor grades, unresponsive attitude, and lack of participation are indications of your child’s underlying depression.
6. Frequent Crying
A depressed child is more likely to cry on things that they were once least sensitive to. They would end up weeping if you ask them to finish their homework or play with friends. Such a child would run away from family gatherings, parties, games etc. to spend time alone.
However, none of the symptoms mentioned above alone can indicate if your child is suffering from depression. If you find your child getting excessively angry, unnecessarily sad, not wanting to go to school or having irregular sleep and eating patterns, you should seek a psychiatrist immediately.
Steps to combat depression:
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