When a person experiences low moods and a dislike for engaging in activities that are considered to be fun or pleasurable, it is said that the person is in a state of depression. A depressed person may exhibit several symptoms, including weight loss, fatigue or feelings of restlessness, and sadness. In the most serious cases, a severely depressed person can be suicidal.
Although depression most commonly affects adults, there are instances where a child can also affected. Parents who have concerns about whether their child is severely depressed should seek help from an expert.
Reasons for Depression in Children
There are a number of reasons why a child can be depressed. Genetics can be a contributing factor why a child easily experience depression. Exposure to a number of stresses can also trigger childhood depression. Chronic health problems, such as asthma or epilepsy can also contribute. Mental, verbal and physical abuse also causes a child to be severely depressed.
Signs of a Severely Depressed Child
There are a number of telltale factors to suggest that a child is severely depressed. If a child starts to have crying episodes and easily gets frustrated or irritated, he needs to be observed and given attention. If a sudden shift of moods is accompanied by other signs and symptoms such as insomnia, eating disorders or suicidal tendencies, have him checked by a qualified expert. Other signs of child depression include temper tantrums, increased aggressive behavior, stomachaches and headaches.
Treatment for Child Depression
For a child, it is important to take note that denial is possible. A child does not easily figure out his feelings and therefore will have trouble expressing them. Because they do not know what is causing their gloomy moods, they have trouble acknowledging the way they feel and this makes depression even harder for children. To treat a depressed child, psychotherapy combined with psychotropic medications is generally implemented.
Before any form of treatment can begin, it is important that a doctor, or an expert in the field of psychiatry, correctly diagnose the condition. To get a better diagnosis, a psychiatrist who specializes in child depression should be the one to evaluate a potentially depressed child.
An expertise in dealing with children is important because unlike an adult, a child has not yet mastered expressing his feelings. The doctor may need to use different techniques to draw out unexpressed negative feelings. In treating a severely depressed child, having a support system at all times is a big factor in increasing the possibility of successful treatment. When a child feels that he is surrounded and supported by people who deeply care for him, it will help speed up his recovery from depression.