Your child may seem fine on the outside, but a dangerous foe could be dragging him or her down into the dark side of depression. You should be aware of the different ways that depression may attack your child and the signs of depression. The following guide will help you with that.
How Depression Attacks Your Child
Depression affects about 2.5 percent of children in the U.S., and you should try to keep your child out of that percentage. The following may raise the risk of falling into depression:
- Physical ailments like a broken bone or other seriously debilitating health issues could force your child into depression.
- Drastic family events like a divorce or a death in the family.
- Environmental changes such as a new neighborhood or school.
- Chemical imbalances in the brain could lead to depression.
- Issues in the school, like bullying, could put your child in danger.
- Some children may be more susceptible to depression if there is a family history of depression.
You can talk to a counselor about other life events that may affect your child as he or she will be able to give you other incidents that might increase the risk of depression.
Signs of Depression
Watch out for some of the following signs:
- Physical aches that are unexplained and occurring more frequently. These aches could be headaches, muscle aches, or stomachaches, just to name a few possibilities.
- Your child may attempt to miss school. Or your child's school performance may suffer.
- Your child may try to run away or talk about running away from home.
- He or she might begin to suffer from mood swings. This could include unexplainable irritability, shouting, crying, or any other number of emotional outbursts.
- Your child might show noticeable disinterest in things that he or she used to find interesting. This could include his or her friends, sports, hobbies, watching cartoons, or other things that used to him or her happy.
- There may be a chance that your child develops an eating disorder. This could increase or decrease your child's weight.
- Your child might attempt to take more naps than usual or oversleep. Or, your child might have trouble getting to sleep.
Talk to a counselor (such as one from Living Hope Clinic) about any of these symptoms, as he or she should be able to get to the bottom of your child's issues. But, as you can see, there is a lot to understand when it comes to childhood depression. And you can take this knowledge to help your child.