How to Treat Depression in kids

Topic of Content

  1. Introduction
  3. The following are some dynamic steps you can take to encourage coping skills and support mental health in your child
  4. Will my child''s depression go away?
  5. When should I seek medical help?



Depression can strike at any point in life. Pandemic has impacted almost everyone’s mental health. Children are stuck in a home for 2 years in a row. It''s normal for kids to feel sad, act grumpy, or be in a crabbed mood at times. With everyone struggling with isolated life and social distancing, it can be hard to know how to tell the difference between a child who’s just feeling grumpy, frustrated, and irritated and a kid who’s slipping into depression. But when this mood lasts for weeks or longer, and there are other changes in a child''s behavior, it might be depression. Children may have a hard time expressing their depressive thoughts because of their limited emotional lexis. They might not be sure how to express their feelings.




You may notice some of these signs:

  • Changes in appetite - loss in appetite or obesity 
  • Changes in sleep -sleeplessness or excessive sleep
  • Continuous feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Fatigue and low energy
  • Feelings of unworthy or guilty
  • Impaired thinking or concentration
  •  Hyper-sensitivity to rejection
  • Irritability,crankiness or temperamental issues
  • Loss of interest in hobbies , passion and other activities.


 It is important to understand that parents should understand the child’s mental state and reasons why their child developed depression. Parents should intervene in a helpful manner. As a parent, it’s important to break down the stigma barriers about depression, anxiety and mental health issues with your children at an early age since depression is an issue that could eventually affect anyone. This may be especially pertinent if you have blood relatives who have been diagnosed with depression. In this way, you open the door for conversation about emotions, anxiety as well as coping strategies.

If your child is of preschool age, it’s important to know that your child is still learning about the world and their own feelings. Ask them how they feel when they are upset. Your child needs to know that you are the best person they can trust and with whom they can share their problems and feelings.


The following are some dynamic steps you can take to encourage  coping skills and support mental health in your child:

  •  Explain how eating nutritious healthy food and getting plenty of exercise regularly is good for their mental health.These activities can be proved as a stress reliever.
  • Make sure your child has a proper sleep schedule. Turn off devices like mobile phones and television  before bedtime, and make sure your child goes to bed and wakes up at the same time everyday.This consistent schedule helps your child to build a routine and disciplined life.
  • Help your child in developing a rich social life without over-scheduling their time. Assign responsibilities and duties , and reward them for being responsible. This helps them in building a sense of responsibility and improve their self-esteem.When kids feel that they made a contribution , it makes them feel good.
  • Teach your child how to manage their emotions in healthy ways, and develop strategies that will help them cope with setbacks. Talk about your mental health too and share your life events with them. Make them feel connected.
  • Be attentive with your child''s emotional needs. Give your kid the gradual independence to help them make small decisions on their own.This will boost their confidence.


Will my child''s depression go away?

As a parent, it is normal to have the impulse to “fix” your child''s depression or somehow put a stop to it, but mental illness is complicated. It can’t be fixed or stopped. It can, however, improve. While it may be very strenuous to watch your child dealing with depression, help and cure is always available. The accurate treatment can ensure that your child continues to grow and bloom throughout their development. Provide them medical help if depression is diagnosed and you can also support your child by making sure they have a healthy environment at home and at school. Always let your child know they can express blatantly and honestly about their feelings with you.


 When should I seek medical help?

If you notice the symptoms mentioned above persist for more than 2 weeks, you must consult the pediatrician who can guide you on ways to support your child and help them build resilience through creative and fun activities. Therapists may use approaches like cognitive behavioural therapy  to understand your child’s mental turmoil. Proper timely treatment can cure the condition effectively. It  requires time and includes relapses. As a young child’s brain is still developing, early identification and treatment of such issues can have potentially more effective and everlasting effects on the child’s physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development .

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