Mental health disorders are on the rise even among the youth, so recognizing the signs of depression and anxiety among children is essential to get them the treatment they need.
Depression and anxiety are both common mental health disorders that adults can suffer from, along with adolescents, and even children. While depression is most commonly found in adults from the ages of 18 to 25, depression can happen to anybody. For many, depression can stem from having a job that you don’t like, suffering financially, peer pressures, internal struggles such as self-esteem issues, and even just purely being unhappy with your life.
From an adult’s perspective looking at a young child, adults yearn to be able to relive their childhood days where there were less worries in the world and you could live care-free, but for many children, this isn’t the case. Children can suffer from depression just as much as an adolescent or adult can, and it a lot of times stems from trauma they have experienced.
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If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact emergency services or reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s free, confidential, 24/7 national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for immediate assistance.
Seeing depression in children has the potential to be a lot harder than seeing it in an adolescent or adult, but there are a lot of signs so you can hopefully spot it early on to get the child the help they need early on.
Some of the signs of depression in children include:
The next question that you may be wondering is what the cause of depression in children could be, and there are actually many factors that could go into this.
Causes of depression in children include:
Paying attention to your child is essential when you’re trying to notice signs of sadness and depression. If you start to see any of these signs in your child, or even if you’re a daycare professional, teacher, or someone who is trusted with kids, make sure to notice any signs where a child could be feeling off to make sure that they get the proper treatment that they may need.
Therapy sessions for children are extremely important if they’re suffering from a mental health disorder. Being able to find a therapist to comfortably leave your child with, or someone that is good with your kid where you can sit in on the therapy sessions and also be able to talk to them as well is essential.
When it comes to your first therapy session, the therapist may want to meet with you at first to be able to get some background information on your child, along with any current issues that you child may be currently facing. A lot of times, therapists may want to incorporate you into the therapy sessions through structured play where the therapist can interact and play with the child and make them comfortable while discussing harder topics with them.
If your child is showing signs or symptoms of depression, not only finding and recognizing the root of the cause is helpful, but also getting them the necessary help that they need as well can significantly help them to continue to be a kid even while battling depression because of past issues or even trauma.
There are many therapy options that you should consider for a child who is suffering from depression or anxiety where they can significantly improve the child’s life in the long run. Familiarizing yourself with a few of these options is always great because they are all exceptional for children and they can also significantly help them as well.
Child-centered play therapy, or CCPT is a unique type of therapy specifically for children where the act of playing is used to help the child in need. Kids are able to express themselves freely using games, toys, and so much more, and each child aims toward growing. This type of therapy provides a safe environment for growing and healing within a child.
Are you looking for a type of therapy that both you and your child can actively involve yourselves in? If so, then you need to try out parent-child relationship therapy because its main goal is to help improve the relationship between parents and children. Therapists can work with parents in small groups to teach them how to empathetically respond to their children where they can then go home and practice these skills.
Art therapy has become increasingly popular over the years for children suffering from depression and/or anxiety. Art is a free form of self expression that can be displayed in many ways and by using art, children can convey their emotions, feelings, thoughts, and more through art to be able to recognize their traumas using artistic expression. This is a great option for children who are shy, or may have issues verbally expressing their feelings.
Children often act out whenever they’re depressed, so behavior therapy is an amazing option to consider. Utilizing principles of reinforcement to encourage positive behaviors and actions can help to decrease negative behaviors that kids may be expressing. This type of therapy is great for children who have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as well.
Not only can a child benefit from therapy sessions, but the parents can as well. No matter what age a child is participating in therapy, it is also a parent’s role to be just as active in their therapy as the child is.
By having a child in therapy sessions, you as a parent play a critical role in their recovery as well. Helping your child to learn new ways of thinking, coping with their situations, and just by showing them an endless amount of support, you can learn to not only be there for your child, but learn more about yourself as a parent and become a better one too.
Depression should not be the end of the world and we know that if you or someone in your life wants to take their life back, contact Transformations Care Network where they are dedicated to helping you get your life back on track. Contact us today to learn what our mental health specialists can do for you and how they can get you back on your feet.