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Depression and How You Can Help Your Child Avoid It


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Mental health is a hot topic that has been extensively talked about over the past few years. Depression, in particular, is an illness that people are becoming more open to discussing. It is a serious medical illness that can affect anyone, including children.

Depression in children is possible, and probably more common than you think. Some parents might be inclined to pass off their child’s depression as the usual ‘everyday blues’ that people typically experience. Other times, you might assume that your daughter’s change in behavior is down to their natural processes of puberty and adolescence. These are common reasons why many cases of depression in children largely go undiagnosed and untreated.

If you want to know how you can help your child avoid depression and know some of the signs you should be wary off, then continue reading.

 

Be aware of the indicators of depression in children

If you want to help your child avoid depression, then it would be helpful to have the right perspective about it. Depression is not as simple as having or not having it. Just like many other observable phenomena, cases of depression lie in a spectrum. What this means is that there are varying degrees of severity that have corresponding indicators. Individuals who have depression can often be high-functioning which means they can carry out their daily duties without showing any negative signs.

Here are some common symptoms of depression in children you might miss:

  • Feeling hopeless or helpless
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Sudden or noticeable changes in weight or eating behavior
  • Social withdrawal
  • Physical ailments such as stomach and headaches that do not respond to treatment

If you notice one or more of these symptoms, then you should immediately do something to address the issue because she might already be afflicted with some form of depression.

 

Practice open and intimate conversation with your children

One of the things you can do even way before noticing any depressive symptoms is to establish open and intimate communication with your child. This is extremely beneficial on many levels because your daughter will be able to talk to you about her emotions, experiences, along with any difficulties she might be facing. This makes it easier for you to find specific ways to help your child.

Teenagers and adolescents usually have a hard time opening up to their parents, so try not to be too invasive and force the issue. For it to happen naturally, you should keep yourself available and approachable at home.

 

Promote and facilitate a healthy lifestyle

Another factor that many people do not realize is that physical health directly affects mental health. A balanced diet, sufficient sleep, and exercise can go a long way in ensuring that your child’s mental well-being stays healthy.

Since technology is already a staple in the lives of most children, you can try limiting your daughter’s usage of cellphones, computers, and television. Instead, encourage physical outdoor activities with friends or family. This not only helps her get exercise but also allows for the development of meaningful and positive connections with others.

 

Key Takeaway

Depression can affect anyone at any age. Just because you don’t see or notice it in others, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Try your best to notice and track your child’s habits and behavior so that you can ensure that your child is leading a happy and healthy life. If you see signs that your son or daughter might be depressed, don’t hesitate to contact your child’s physician or life coach and talk to them about it.