Depression In Children
Depression in children: signs, symptoms, triggers and treatment for children with depression.
I think for me it was a little easier to figure out if my child had depression because I also suffered from it and knew some of the symptoms. I wasn’t aware that anger and rage sometimes manifested in children with depression.
After we moved to another state, my son was extremely angry all of the time. I assumed he was upset about moving and missed his old friends. I knew that when he made a few friends at school he would be happier.
He went to school and got in trouble for hacking into the school’s computer system. What? My kid? I couldn’t believe it. This had always been the kid that got great grades at school, was a member of cub scouts, and was a soccer player. And yes, lately, the computer addict.
What had I done wrong? I’ve always done my best with him. Yes, I’ve made mistakes. There is no book on raising children, though I wish there were. Well, I hadn’t done anything wrong but I may have passed on the tendency to suffer from depression.
His anger escalated. It was scary. He punched two holes in the walls of our home. I was afraid for the rest of our family’s safety. I was afraid for him. What if he had hurt himself or worse? His biological father was a “cutter.” He cut himself when he was hurting or wanted to hurt others. My son never knew about that but I wondered if that also could be passed on through hereditary. I was afraid to leave my son alone because I didn’t want him to hurt himself or others.
My son was evaluated by his doctor and treated for depression. He had more outbursts of rage so we saw a counselor, individually and as a family. That one didn’t work so we tried another counselor with no luck. When the medication the physician gave him quit working, we tried a psychologist who ran him through the gamut of anti-depressants. Most of them worked for a little while but not in the long run. Don’t forget the long-term side effects of these medications are unknown in children. My feeling is, if it will save your child the anguish that he or she is going through, then you need to use the medications. Don’t discount therapy. It works wonders for some. Some people need both medication and therapy. Depression can last a lifetime or a few months. I know from experience, when you suffer from depression, it can feel like forever.
My biggest goal is to let other parents know that children do suffer from depression. It may be hereditary or it may be situational. It is real and it is hurting your child. I want the general population to know that it doesn’t mean you are “crazy” if you suffer from depression. It is a disease, just as diabetes is a disease and needs to be treated as such. We would never look down on someone who had diabetes, would we. So, people with depression should not be looked down on.
If your child exhibits any of the following symptoms for over a couple of weeks, get them to a physician, counselor, or psychologist for an evaluation. You cannot just “hope” it away. If your child is troubled to the point of depression, he or she may not just put “a hole in the wall,” he or she may end his life or someone else’s.
Some possible symptoms are:
· continued sadness, irritability and/or
· low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness
· loss of interest in life and activities
that previous held attraction
· changes in eating and sleeping habits
· difficulty in concentrating or remembering
· any type of continual physical illness
that are not properly diagnosed
· suicidal thoughts. “I don’t want to be
here anymore,” can really mean, “I don’t
want to live anymore.”
These symptoms are not conclusive. There may be others. Pay attention to your child. Watch any changes he or she exhibit. Stay aware of his or her feelings and be there for your child. Sometimes just knowing you are available can make a big difference to him or her.
Some possible triggers are:
· family history of mental illness
· abuse (sexual, physical, or emotional)
· chronic illness
· the loss of a parent or family member
can be due to divorce, death, or
· the death of a friend
· moving or changing schools and friends
· the remarriage of a parent
Depression can be either completely chemical (serotonin imbalance), situational (psychological), or a combination of both.
It is most important to diagnose depression and get proper treatment worry about the cause.