Doctors told how to overcome childhood depression
The war in Ukraine with all its negative consequences painfully affects the psyche of children. This is especially true for those who were evacuated from the war zone and experienced the fear of bombing and more. Of course, being in such a state all the time can lead to depression and harm your health. Adults look for ways to support the body and counter depressive manifestations. Unfortunately, however, depression can occur even in children, and it requires special attention.
Often, childhood depression is not diagnosed and not treated, referring to its manifestations as normal emotional age-related changes. However, such changes in children's behavior can have a significant impact on their development and socialization. WebMd spoke with Jennifer Casarella, M.D., about the symptoms of depression in children and how to help them.
Bad moods or caprices are common in children of all ages. This does not mean that you should immediately think of depression. However, if a child's sadness interferes with daily life, learning and communication with the environment, you should pay attention to it.
What are the symptoms of depression in children?
As in adults, manifestations of depression in children may differ and manifest themselves in each case in a different way. At the same time, experts list the most common symptoms as follows:
Capriciousness or anger;
Changes in appetite and sleep;
Constant sadness and depression;
Problems with concentration and thinking;
Fatigue and decreased energy;
Problems in learning, communicating with peers;
Feelings of guilt and worthlessness;
Health complaints that are not treatable;
Screaming or crying;
Thoughts of death and suicide.
As a rule, all of these symptoms do not occur at the same time in a child and may alternate at different periods. For example, a child with depression may do well in school and have no problems socializing, but his condition will manifest itself in something else.
What can cause childhood depression?
According to experts, depression is a mood disorder that makes you feel sad and disinterested in life all the time. It is a condition that does not go away for a long time and needs help from specialists.
As in adults, childhood depression can be caused by a combination of factors, such as family disposition, life events, biochemical abnormalities, and the environment. Children from troubled families or those who abuse alcohol or drugs are more likely than others to develop depression.
How do I diagnose a depressive disorder in children?
If you notice disturbing changes in your child's behavior and mood over a long period of time, you should see a specialist. There is no specific diagnosis for detecting depression, but doctors can talk to you individually and your child in private and administer questionnaires to identify problems. In addition, information about your child's behavior from his teachers and classmates, who can characterize your child outside the home, may be important.
A thorough diagnosis will help to more accurately diagnose or identify other possible problems contributing to depression, such as conduct disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
How do I treat childhood depression?
Treatment methods for depression in children do not differ much from those for adults.
Thus, the best results are achieved using a combination of psychotherapeutic methods with medications. It should be noted that most antidepressants are allowed only from a certain age and treatment should take place only under medical supervision.
The main thing in treating childhood depression is early diagnosis and diagnosis, since some parents are willing to deny the existence of a behavioral disorder in their child. However, it is extremely important to accept and understand the child's depression in order to help his physical and emotional proper development.
Childhood depression deserves no less attention than adult depression, because sometimes it is more difficult for children to understand their emotions and overcome them. It is the understanding and support of loved ones and following the advice of specialists that will help to avoid serious complications and promote the healthy development of the child's psyche.
Previously OBOZREVATEL told about the modern cause of teenage depression. Researchers investigated the relationship between distance learning and children's mental health and concluded that it increases the risk of depression and anxiety in high school students.