Child depression is a common term for depression in childhood.
Unfortunately there are more and more children that get afflicted by depressive disorders. The good news is that childhood depression is very treatable if the treatment is appropriate. The bad news is that if a depressed child is not treated or is mistreated it will most likely become a very unstable and disturbing adult.
Sometimes children that suffer from severe depression commit suicide or homicide. This fact should make it clear how serious depression in childhood is and that parents should react as soon as possible if they suspect their child may be depressed.
There are parents that are ashamed of their depressed child or even angry and for those reasons or some other they don’t seek help for their child. There is nothing to be ashamed of! Depression is an illness as any other however unlike many other illnesses depression is treatable and a child can fully recover from it.
Having a depressed child is not easy. In fact it is one of the most difficult and stressful things in life. If you are one of those parents you should know that as much as your child needs treatment you need support, guidance and understanding. All of which you can get in any form of psychological counseling.
What causes depression in childhood?
Childhood depression can be caused by traumatic event, inadequate parent-child relation, physiological (hormonal misbalance), head trauma, any form of child abuse (physical, emotional, sexual), use of certain medications, etc.
What are the signs of child depression?
Signs of child depression are:
• Inactivity- child doesn’t want to play.
• Fear- child appears scared most of time.
• Skin picking
• Muscle twitching
• Excessive crying
• Aggressive behavior
• Fixation about death or suicide
• Object swallowing
• Self-punishing • Significant appetite change
What is the best treatment for depressed children?
The best treatment for children that suffer from depression is psychotherapy alone. Antidepressants and other medication such as sleeping pills should not be used. Medication can be considered only if a child suffers from severe type of depression such as Major Depression with Psychotic Features. However even in these cases parents need to make sure that it is really necessary.
You should never allow anyone to prescribe and give your child antidepressants before making sure that it is necessary. Also, you should know everything about that medication especially how it works, what it does to the brain and what are its side effects as well as risk factors. This is of great importance.
If you decide to give the medication to your child you need to make sure that the medication is taken as prescribed and that your child has health professional supervision. In other words he or she should be in intense psychotherapy.
What is the prognosis for child depression?
The prognosis in case of child depression is very optimistic, provided that there is no brain injury. Psychotherapy alone can treat most children with depressive disorders with great success. However one of the things that is necessary for this to happen is that parents are also in psychotherapy. This is important for many reasons.
In family therapy parents learn everything they should know about their child’s disorder. They also learn how to cope with their child’s depression and how to help one another as well as what changes they should make in order for their child to get better. The great majority of parents loves their children and would do anything to help them. However this doesn’t mean that they can do it alone.
Good intentions are far from enough. If you want to help someone you need to now how to do it first.