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:
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.
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.
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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