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Home Parenting Tips & Advices How To Deal With a Depressed Child
How To Deal With a Depressed Child E-mail

Depression is not just an adult disease. Depression also strikes young children. Sometimes it is hard for adults to understand why their child may be depressed.  To an adult, it seems that childhood is easy. But to a child suffering from depression, life can be a dark and scary place.

The first step in dealing with a depressed child is knowing how to recognize the signs of depression.  Depressed children usually withdraw from their friends and families, preferring to spend time alone.   The child will loose interest in activities that they once enjoyed including games, clubs, or sports.   Parents may notice that their child is slipping in school, not completing home work assignments, or getting poor grades.  Depressed children cry easily and it does not take much to make them upset.

Often, depression will lead to suicidal thoughts or an actual attempt at suicide.  Take action quickly if your child starts talking about death, giving away their possessions, or talking about suicide. All of these things are keys that the child is close to seriously hurting or killing themselves.

One of the worse things a parent can do when dealing with a depressed child is to belittle their child’s emotions or problems. By belittling the child, the parent is conveying the message that they do not care about the child’s happiness or well being.  Instead, take extra measures to make the child feel happy and loved by giving praises, hugs, and verbally telling the child that he/she is loved by you.

Attempt to talk to your child about his or her problems. It may be that the child is having trouble at school. Did they just break up with their girlfriend or boyfriend?  It could be that there are issues within the family which are leading to the depression.

Sometimes depression is caused by a chemical imbalance within the brain. In this case, the child can not help but feel depressed even though there is nothing wrong in the child’s life. Chemical depression is easily treated with medication but it is just as serious as other forms of depression.

Do not delay to seek help in learning how to deal with a depressed child.  Consult your family doctor or a hospital which deals with childhood depression.  The sooner you get your child the help, the better it will be for both your child and your family.  Treatments for depression may include hospitalization (if the depression is serious enough), medication, and counseling for both the child and his/her family.


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