How to spot depression in your children

After doing my mental health first aid training and being very aware about mental health issues, it’s made me realise that it can literally effect anyone. Including depression in your children and anxieties. You don’t have to have a traumatic past, a difficult upbringing or a challenging period in your life to suffer the effects of one. These are some tips on what to look out for if you suspect your child is currently struggling with depression.

Isolation

One major indicator that all may not be well in terms of your child’s mental health may be isolation. Hiding away from the world and struggling to get outside is a relatively universal symptom at any age. If you notice your child withdrawing from social situations or declining activities that they once loved, this could be a sign. 

Addiction

If you have an adolescent on your hands, you will have limited control over what they do and don’t do when they are not in the home. This is a period in their life when they will start to make friends of their own accord and have more independence when it comes to the activities they choose. This can result in some upsetting and problematic consequences, particularly if they start to associate with other troubled children. However, all is not lost if this starts to happen. Rehabilitation centres such as Ignite Teen Treatment are not the same as the adult facilities we picture in our heads when we think of rehab. They also have a dedicated centre devoted to treating depression and anxiety, so this can be resolved specifically. 

Temper 

Children struggle to articulate their emotion as comprehensively as adults, which means that challenging emotions are often expressed through tantrums and outburst of rage. Constant crying that comes across as out of the ordinary, coupled with other usual behaviours could be a clear indicator. 

Lack of Appetite

When it comes to children, a lack of appetite should always result in a visit to your GP. However, if a lack of appetite is coupled with other troublesome symptoms, it could be an indicator of depression. 

Sleeping Changes

Many of us would expect an adult to complain of insomnia or not being able to get up in the morning, but for a child this can be seen as quite unusual. Wanting to sleep through the days or struggling from sleep deprivation could be a clear sign. If you are concerned about sleep deprivation, ensure that they do not have access to tablets or computer devices for at least an hour before bed and see if this problem continues. 

The best way to discover if your fears about your child’s mental wellbeing are correct or unjustified is to visit your GP immediately. It’s important, too, to seek another professional opinion if you are worried that your doctor has not taken you seriously. Do not stop until you are satisfied that your child has got an adequate assessment as depression in your children is a serious matter.

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