Recently, we were all shocked to hear about the suicide of a teenager from a well to do family. Everyone including his parents were shocked to learn about their son’s suicide. There are ongoing debates to find out the reasons as to why this teenager took such a drastic step. In this article, we will talk about Childhood Depression and Childhood Depression Symptoms.
It is surprising to know that today we find many young children including teenagers suffering from depression, which leads them to take the drastic step of committing suicide. Needless to say, the entire family especially the parents are left to deal with this huge loss for life.
We have seen young people sending selfies or taking live videos of their suicide attempt. We need to understand how a simple and well-behaved child gets provoked or depressed, leading them to take their own life. Childhood depression is one of the most common things affecting children these days.
Childhood Depression Symptoms
- Sad or depressed mood throughout the day.
- Disturbed sleep.
- Wanting to be lonely and not spending enough time with friends and family.
- Low Self-esteem.
- Lack of focus and concentration in studies.
- Always complaining of body aches, headaches etc.
- Lack of interest in their daily diet.
- Thoughts of suicide or death or feeling worthless.
How to Deal with Childhood Depression
1. Do not neglect your child.
One of the main reasons for childhood depression is neglect by parents. Many children from good and affluent homes are being provided with all the luxuries of life but lack the most important ingredient for happy families, i.e. love and care. Parents are so busy with their schedules that there is little or no conversation with the child, leading to a huge communication gap.
Children, especially teenagers, go through a lot of difficult situations wherein they are unable to understand the hormonal changes in their body. They are inquisitive and have many questions regarding things in their everyday life. It is at this time that they look towards their parents as their only assured place for getting correct information. If you have not developed a relationship, wherein your child can come and talk to you about their fears and concerns, then automatically they will get attracted to the wrong worldly sources for their information.
Therefore no matter how busy you are, it is important to spend some quality time daily just listening to your children and knowing what’s happening in their lives. Having family dinner daily together would be a great place to learn about the happenings in your children’s lives.
2. Encourage good family habits.
A healthy body is a result of a well-balanced diet, proper sleep, good physical activity and exercise. All this helps to keep our body fit and healthy. Encourage your children to say their prayers daily. In my case, I speak to my children about God’s love, compassion and how they are uniquely created for God’s divine purpose.
It is important to make them understand that no matter what they face in life, they will always be loved by their parents. Not getting adequate marks or any other disappointments are only temporary and these disappointments should not have an effect on who and what they are to their parents.
Avoid excessive use of technology gadgets like smartphones, ipads, tablets, computers etc., and encourage them to do more physical activities.
3. Praise their good behaviour and motivate them.
Everyone gets excited and motivated when somebody praises them. So is the case with children. Always encourage them on their good behaviour or things that they do well. Encourage and motivate them to build on their strengths. Do not be critical and judgemental about their weaknesses but help them to overcome it.
4. Give them responsibilities and keep them busy.
Most parents give their children everything they want without asking them to do anything in return. The result is that the child does not help in any of the family chores. Do not let your child just lie in bed and feel more worthless and depressed. Give them chores and hold them responsible for the outcome. Give them simple tasks and use the time to talk to them or coach them about the realities of life. These small conversations while doing day to day chores go a long way in getting them to have a more positive outlook towards life.
5. Communicate to them regularly.
Most parents do not want to ask their children if they are having suicidal thoughts. It is important to bring up this topic in your conversation so that you can talk to them freely and let them know why this act is wrong.
You can take a real-life example or any news and then have an open discussion. Let them know the parental feelings of pain and agony at the loss of their child. Also, stress on the fact that they will always be loved and cared for by their parents.
Yes, there will be times when parents will be upset about their behaviour, but children need to face the reality and improve. Always face life head-on and things will work out in the future. Keep giving them real-life examples especially from your own life to show them that it is always good to have a positive approach to life.
6. Help your child to learn coping skills.
Parents should help their children learn coping skills. Today there is academic pressure, lack of time for relaxing, overstressed schedules etc., which lead to anxiety and depression. It is important to help your child relax by encouraging them to participate in physical or creative activities. Always support them and talk to them about love. Ask your child to describe their feelings and solve their problems in a positive way.
7. Keep a watch on safety and security.
If you have observed any childhood depression symptoms then keep medicines (sleeping tablets), alcohol, weapons or knives etc., under lock and key.
You can take them for counseling therapy, which can help to overcome stress. Further, if the depression symptoms are serious, then you can take them to the pediatrician and start on antidepressant medication.
Finally, we all including our children live in a stressful environment and so it is important to be strongly connected as a family to overcome these barriers. Today, take that important decision of spending time with your family and show your love and support for your children. Children need your time and love as they face the challenges of their day to day lives.
Hope you enjoyed this article on Childhood Depression and Childhood Depression Symptoms. Please like and comment below. We would love to hear from you.
Please read our earlier article The Positive Parenting Approach.
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