Seeing a child sad, lonely, or hopeless is not unusual. Still, when these feelings become persistent, affecting and disrupting every part of a child’s life and relationships, these could be early signs of depression.
What Is Depression?
It is a common and severe mood disorder that affects and disrupts the activities of children and adults.
The leading cause is unknown, but according to studies, factors that may lead to depression are abuse: physical, sexual, verbal, neglect, accidents, or certain life events that alter how a child perceives.
Symptoms To Look Out For
- Changes in appetite
- Increased or decreased changes in sleep
- Fatigue and low energy
- Social withdrawal
- Impaired thinking or concentration
- Loss of interest in hobbies
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Vocal outbursts or crying
Every child has different symptoms. It often goes undiagnosed and untreated, and many children may function well in a structured environment while some won’t.
Talk with a child’s pediatrician to recommend a mental health provider for detailed evaluation.
How Therapies Can Help Your Child
The right therapy can help children find a way to share their feelings and get full support safely.
They learn to talk about what they’ve been through and adjust how they think and react to the experience that led to depression.
Therapists use this to help children through trauma. They observe them through play and note areas where they feel the child needs help.
According to American Art Therapy Association,
“Art therapy provides an outlet without words, can improve cognition, foster self-esteem, and awareness, reduce conflict and stress and cultivate emotional resilience.”
It also uses art mediums like drawing and coloring to help heal the effects of the events or experiences.
This psychotherapy form helps children think positively and control negative emotions or behaviors.
It Includes playing, talking, and learning activities that heal the effects of abuses, neglect, or life events.
Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT):
This subtype of cognitive-behavioral therapy uses trauma-sensitive intervention with cognitive-behavioral techniques, close family support, and values.
What You Can Do As Parents
Spend time with your child:
Do fun recreational activities with them like swimming, playing soccer, hiking, biking, or biking, help them feel comfortable and have hearty conversations.
At nighttime, read bed stories and be attentive to their responses and non-verbal communication signs.
Nurture and train them with patience:
Listen to them with homely love and patience. Teach and correct with warmth and understanding, and avoid using words that will belittle or make them feel inferior or ashamed.
If they fail at a particular activity or subject, show them how to try again with care and help them learn they can do better.
Show and don’t just tell them:
Use smiles, hugs, and soothing words to show your love and care about them.
Don’t just say it; let it show in your actions, expressions, and attitudes.