Like adults, children can suffer from depression, in this case: childhood depression. It is not uncommon and since children actually are the purest of humans, it might be safe to say if a child is depressed-and they actually tell you that-it is a rather serious issue.
One of the most common misconceptions about childhood depression is:”what do children have to be depressed about?”. Perhaps this reveals a few misunderstandings about childhood depression and what it is. It is indeed quite similar to clinical depression-borrowing from medical terminology and is not just down moods resulting from a child being depressed because they have just been punished or have been told they can’t have something. No, childhood depression is more intrusive into the child’s very existence, may be long-lasting and if not attended to life-threatening.
Perhaps another misconception may have to do with us thinking, being a child is a care-free, trouble-free stage of human life. Not necessarily, with peer acceptance, school and family expectations, it is enough to make a kid worry and could be a huge factor to be considered in regards to dealing with a case of childhood depression.
Other Causes of Childhood Depression:
1. Family History of Mental illness or suicide.
2. Abuse (physical, emotional or sexual)
3. Chronic illnesses.
4. Loss of a parent at an early age to death, divorce or abandonment.
5. Improper diet and lack of sufficient exercise.
6. Excessive exposure to negative factors such as parents arguing, bad neighbourhoods etc
7. Insufficient parental attention.
Though this is not a conclusive list of the causes of depression in children, perhaps these factors are the most common ones.
Symptoms of Childhood Depression:
1. Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
2. The abrupt change in Appetite
3. Change in sleep patterns (either increase or decrease).
4. Difficulty concentrating.
5. Making depreciating statements like I’m not good enough,
6. Persistent Sadness.
7. Recurring thoughts of Suicide
8. Excessive clinging or withdrawal
If you notice any of these in your child’s behaviour it may be time to seek help. But, keep in mind, the first step may be a good heart to heart talk with your child.
Reconnect with them. Make plans for a getaway saying things like How about you and I go to the park, just the two of us eh. Now seize this time to carefully see what could be the problem.
Also, borrowing from Yoga principles (Natural Healing as well), now will be a good time to assess your entire families diet. Remember, you are what you eat Diet plays, perhaps the most important role in oneís health, especially children in their growing stages so all efforts should be made to pleasantly enforce a proper diet. You may not have to work too hard, most kids LOVE bananas and other sweet fruits and fresh juices. Vegetables or maybe not so much, but you get my gist. Try to replace processed foods with healthier ones.
Take time out to be there for your child or at least be conscious of who he or she is around the most. Remember children are wonderful imitators.
If you yourself happen to be depressed, I recommend drug-free alternatives such as Yoga, and the previously mentioned proper eating. Also, look into fasting albeit it short as this works wonders for restoring your emotional balance as a result of the body not being taxed with the duties of digestion, assimilation and re-building. Your mind clears and all moroseness disappears and consequently, you tend to find the answers to the problems warranting a treatment for depression in the first place. Keep in mind though; this radical step is suited only for adults not necessarily for kids.
Devote thirty minutes or more a day for open-air recreation for yourself and your family. Visits to the zoo, active play, and swimming tend to relieve tension created in the home, school, and work and this may go a long way in assisting in curing childhood depression in the family.
Make efforts yourself to be cheerful as much as possible as kids do mimic what their parents constantly do.
Finally, if you are of a spiritual inclination, try prayer power and introduce your child to it. Hey, the Man did say: ìSuffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God. I believe a child connected to God is one sure way of preventing childhood depression. (Of course with the factors previously mentioned.)
Parenting or being a role model to a child is a duty that may be tasking at times, even more say when dealing with a depressed child. However with the suggestions given, if tackled properly, childhood depression need not be a thing your kid has to go through.
Depression, a mental illness that is often characterised by prolonged periods of sadness and melancholy, experts from the field of psychiatry say.
But just because one person is moping around and just generally hating the world around him or her, doesn’t mean that it’s already depression, but if this kind of behaviour, the feeling of emptiness, loss of self-worth and absolutely no hope for happiness just goes on and on, then, yes, that individual is very much, indeed, depressed.
Still, there are various types of depression, from Manic or Bipolar depression – characterised by sudden and extreme changes in one’s mood wherein one minute he or she is in an elevated state of euphoria while the next minute (day or week) he or she is feeling to be in a personal hell, Postpartum depression – characterised by a prolonged sadness and a feeling of emptiness by a new mother wherein physical stress during child birth, an uncertain sense of responsibility towards the new born baby can be just some of the possible factors why some new mother go through this, Dysthimia – characterised by a slight similarity with depression, although this time, it’s been proven to be a lot less severe, but of course with any case, should be treated immediately, Cyclothemia – characterized by a slight similarity with Manic or Bipolar depression wherein the individual suffering from this mental illness may occasionally suffer from severe changes in one’s moods, Seasonal Affective Disorder – characterised by falling in a rut only during specific seasons (i.e. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall) studies however, prove that more people actually fall in to a rut more during the Winter and Fall seasons and lastly, Mood swings, wherein a person’s mood may shift from happy to sad to angry in just a short time.
Clinical depression however, or as some might call as ‘major’ depression, is actually the medical term for depression. Actually clinical depression is more of a disorder rather than an illness since it basically covers only those who are suffering from symptoms related to depression. Clinical depression is how doctors usually refer to “depression” when giving a diagnose of their patient. It’s basically just a medical term.
However, in spite of being an actual disorder, Clinical depression may well be treated. Doctors are actually highly optimistic that their patients who are suffering from Clinical disorder will be well on their way towards good mental health as long as they treated as soon as they have been diagnosed with Clinical depression. Patients who have been seeking for treatments for Clinical depression have proven to be quite successful in their quest, given that 80 percent of actual Clinical depression patients have been treated and has somewhat found relief from their disorder.
For those who may be seeking some answers for their Clinical depression related questions, the depression section of the health centre is highly recommended, as well as books on psychiatry and the internet – which can offer a lot of helpful information with regards to Clinical depression although self-medication/treatment is highly disapproved of. Clinical depression may not pose as much as a threat as the other types of depression, but it is best to leave it to the hands of professionals who can safely attend
An estimated ten percent of the UK, suffer from some form of depression during their lives. This figure varies but is pretty much the same worldwide. There are a few areas of the world that depression seems to have missed, but not many. Depression, in general, affects the way we behave from our sleeping patterns up to the way we think and live life.
The difference between depression and bipolar, depression is in the severity and frequency. Depression alone is often brought about by life circumstances, while bipolar depression is induced and the flip side of mania. The depression and mania come in cycles, regardless of the things in a person’s life. People that are suffering clinical depression at risk of using drugs or alcohol to alleviate their symptoms the risk is greater in those with bipolar depression. A person who knows the highs of mania may try to recreate the feeling when they are depressed or “stable”. Drugs often help create that high for a short time. This puts the person at risk of adding drug addiction to the bipolar disorder.
Treatment of the two types of depression also varies. Those suffering from clinical depression are prescribed anti-depressants alone. Those with bipolar depression, however, are often given a mood first, and an antidepressant as a second choice if needed. Both medications adjust the brain chemicals to alleviate the depression, but the mood also helps the person keep from going too far in the other direction and becoming manic.
To the person suffering depression, it feels the same regardless of what causes the mood. The important part knowing the difference plays is mainly in treatment options. A person suffering bipolar depression is at risk of becoming manic if only the depression is treated. This in itself creates additional problems.