How To Deal With A Depressed Child

RSS Author RSS     Views:N/A
Bookmark and Share          Republish
Just like adults, young children and teenagers can get depressed and their ill-being has to be taken seriously and treated. This is why recognizing depression symptoms in a child early enough can really help your depressed child getting over his depression. If untreated, the depression will come back again. First you need to know what to look for, pay attention to the symptoms that might appear in your child's behavior.

Here's a list of symptoms to look for in a depressed child or teen (not necessarily all of them together):

- Disturbed sleep (sleeplessness or daytime sleepiness), appetite (decreased or increased), concentration
- Child not playful, lonely teen
- Feels angry and/or bored, is irritable
- Low self-esteem, negative self comment
- Talks about death (says things like "I wish I was never born / was dead")
- Weight changes
- Change in social activities and interactions (friends and parent-child relationships)
- Crying and outbursts
- Anxiety, extreme fears, paranoia

Please note that a depressed child or teen would probably be unable to say he's sad or depressed but rather that he is bored, angry, not happy.

Of course, some of these symptoms can occur not because your child is depressed but just as a normal reaction to something upsetting. That's why you need to check how long it lasts. If it lasts more than 2 weeks, it's more likely to be a depression.

Your behavior and actions toward your depressed child are very important. Your understanding too. Indeed, you need to evaluate his school and home environment to see what started the depression. It goes without saying that conflicts between the family members can have a strong impact on children who can feel guilty/rejected. So if you know the cause and can do something about it, do it.

Now here's what you can do to help your depressed child:

Reassure him about his depression. Tell him he's not crazy or abnormal. It is perfectly normal to feel sad when we face a sad situation. It's just that some people have a disease that makes it harder for them to recover from such sadness. Give him the right to have these feelings or he might hide them.

• Always try to imagine how he perceives the world and how certain things can seem small to you and not to him such as the loss of a pet or a remark made by a friend. Give him the time to grieve and never minimize what he's going through.

Tell the truth, always. Hiding it doesn't protect your child and doesn't help him feel trusted and able to get over things with your help.

Talk to your child about depression, how it works, what he feels and why. Tell him who he can talk to (you, a favorite uncle, teacher, etc…)

Seek professional help such as a counselor or therapist, or apply a parenting method.

I don't recommend the resort to drugs for your depressed child. Antidepressant medications can increase the risk of suicidal behavior in children and teenagers, as stated by the FDA.

But I can tell you a few words about parenting methods you might want to apply. Indeed, some parenting programs have been created to improve relationships with children and help them live happily and in a healthy way. They provide efficient and easy-to-apply advices and communication tools for you to solve all the problems your child and yourself might be facing, such as depression.

I recommend a very friendly and helpful website called, created by a group of parents who selected the best parenting programs, which worked for them, and the reviews give a clear picture of how each program can help you. It's a perfect way for you to act upon the situation and get your depressed child out of his ill-being. It did help me and I'm glad to share this resource with you.

As they say, "You can hope again". I know you can.

Report this article

Bookmark and Share

Ask a Question about this Article