Frequent Questions About Depression and Anxiety in A Child
What causes depression and anxiety in a child?
It is not exactly known what causes depression and anxiety in child.
However, there are many possible factors that when combined, can cause prolonged symptoms and deepen these disorders in a child.
Genetic makeup: If a childs parents or grandparents have suffered from depression, it is believed that that child has a greater risk of becoming depressed than those children that do not have depression in their family history. Indeed, there is some scientific evidence that some types of depression are very likely to run in family (e.g. Bipolar Disorder or Major Depression).
Sexual abuse: Children that are sexually abused are at risk of becoming depressed or ill from many other mental illnesses. Unfortunately, children that are sexually abused rarely talk about it with their parents. There are many reasons why children do not talk to their parents about the sexual abuse. However, that is not the subject of this article.
It is important for parents to know that they cannot expect their children to talk to them about any form of abuse, especially sexual abuse. If parents are aware of this, they will be better prepared to recognize the signs of the abuse in their children. One of those signs could very well be depression and anxiety in a child.
Physical, verbal and emotional abuse: Even though sexual abuse is both physical and emotional, there are many other types of physical and emotional abuse. Verbal abuse is just one of them. It can have great consequences on a child's development. Just because verbal abuse is only verbal, it does not mean it is harmless.
Medication: Some medication can have side effects that can resemble symptoms of anxiety and depression. This is why it is very important to talk to your childs physician about the medications that your is taking. You need to know what the possible side effects could be and how severe the side effects could become..
Physical condition: Overweight children are at a greater risk of becoming depressed than children that have a normal weight. In addition, children that suffer from a disease such as diabetes or have any form of handicap are very likely to suffer from anxiety and depression, if not properly protected (but not over protected!)
Trauma: Aside from sexual abuse, there are many other types of trauma that can cause or trigger anxiety and depression in child. For example, witnessing a serious or a fatal accident, war atrocities or any other form of violence can be the cause of depression and anxiety in child.
How to treat depression and anxiety in child?
The best way to treat anxiety and depression in a child is with family therapy. In family therapy, parents will recieve the necessary education about their child’s disorder and the way they should behave around their child in certain situations. There are numerous examples where good and loving parents make big mistakes with their depressed child, which causes their child to feel even more depressed and unhappy.
This is why it is essential for parents to receive some education about depression and anxiety, so that they can provide the appropriate support to their child in need. Parents can play a major role in their child’s anxiety and depression treatment. However, for this to happen, they need to know what they should and should not do in certain situations.
Medications should be avoided if not necessary. Whether the medication is necessary or not is up to your child’s therapist and you to decide. Always make sure to ask everything you can think of about the medication that your child’s physician or psychiatrist prescribed to your child. Make sure that you know all the facts about that certain medications and its possible substitutes in the form of natural supplements.
Depression and anxiety in a child cannot be solely treated with medication. Psychotherapy, appropriate support and love are the true cures for depression and anxiety in a child.