Not only in adults, depression can also occur in children. Depression in children can be characterized by several symptoms, such as feelings of sadness that persist, unwilling to play, changes in behavior, to a decrease in achievement at school. To better understand the symptoms and treatment of depression in children, let’s look at the following review.
Depression in children can limit their ability to move normally. This condition can occur due to several factors, ranging from bullying in school, domestic violence, sexual abuse, parental divorce, death of loved ones, to mental disorders, such as bipolar, autism, and ADHD.
Common Symptoms of Depression in Children
The condition of a depressed child is often not realized. This is because children have not been able to convey their feelings well. Therefore, parents need to look at changes in children’s emotions and behavior.
Symptoms of depression in children can be divided into physical symptoms and mental symptoms. Next is the explanation:
Some physical symptoms of depression in children that need to be aware of are frequent abdominal pain, frequent headaches, weight gain or noticeably thinner, decreased appetite or even increasing rapidly, looking tired, and having difficulty sleeping.
The mental symptoms of depression in children include:
- It becomes easy to run amok, especially if he is criticized.
- Feeling sad and even desperate.
- Unwilling or unable to complete school work.
- Loss of interest in doing hobbies or activities that were previously popular.
- Reluctant to interact or hang out with their peers, even with their families.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Have thoughts of hurting yourself.
- Feel very guilty and consider himself worthless.
- Often looks nervous or anxious.
Children can be suspected of having depression if these symptoms last for more than 2 weeks, and interfere with daily children’s activities. If not treated, symptoms of depression in children can get worse.
Care for Depressed Children
If the child shows symptoms suspected of being depressed, parents should immediately bring the child to a child psychologist or psychiatrist.
If a child is diagnosed with depression, he needs treatment and treatment. Some handling steps that can be taken to overcome depression in children are:
- Counseling and psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy.
- Play therapy.
- Provision of antidepressant drugs.
The recommended treatment for children with depression will be adjusted to the severity of symptoms of depression, children’s response to therapy, and the child’s ability to attend therapy sessions properly.
The Importance of Parental Support
The role of parents is very important in the process of recovery of depression in children. Parents need to assist and support children who are depressed.
Depression therapy takes time before the results can be seen. Therefore, parents need to be patient and provide emotional support to children during the therapy process.
Parents also need to make sure children eat nutritious food, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and have the opportunity to do their hobbies. This will have a positive effect on his mood.
When children experience depression, parents will certainly be concerned, sad, and even frustrated. However, try to stay patient and understand the child’s condition, because a positive relationship with parents will greatly help children overcome depression.