Depression is a state of sadness that continues for a prolonged period of time. In children, it is one of the leading causes of poor school performance along with other difficulties like learning problems, delinquency, alcohol and drug abuse, panic disorders, eating disorders etc. In extreme cases, it can even lead to violence or suicide. Childhood depression is just as serious as adult depression. However, it is important to recognize that children show unique signs that you must be aware of when recognizing and diagnosing depression. Depression in children may manifest itself in different ways, in different age groups. The younger a child is, the more difficult it is for them to understand their feelings and to identify them. It is hard for them to translate their feelings into thoughts and this makes it very difficult to express their feelings into words. In order to recognize when a child is depressed, it is important to become aware of the symptoms and the signs to look for. And this is very important as they may not even realize themselves that something is out of the ordinary. This puts the responsibility upon the adults to look for signs of trouble and help children cope by identifying the symptoms of depression. However, not every child who is depressed experiences every symptom. Go through the article below to learn more on what the symptoms of childhood depression are.
Signs Of Childhood Depression
- Children with emotional depression tend to cry a lot due to a feeling of despondency and hopelessness. This results in sadness and so they withdraw from the rest.
- The child feels bored and a lack of pleasure or interest in anything that he or she may have enjoyed before. They tend to stay away from any activity.
- He or she becomes tense or panicky. They are more irritable and constantly worry. Due to distress, they may brood or lash out in anger.
- An inability to complete tasks at school because of the lack of concentration or of organizing thoughts.
- The child tends to view everything in a negative light.
- Feeling of guilt over perceived faults and failures. As a result, they feel worthless.
- Unable to relieve their feelings, a sense of hopelessness sets in.
- Sensitiveness to slights leading to isolation.
- A wish to die which later can lead to suicidal thoughts.
- A drastic change in the weight. There is also an increase or decrease in the appetite. Some children overeat to self-medicate their feelings.
- Another visible sign is sleep disturbances. Children with depression find difficulty in falling asleep. They also tend to oversleep or tend to wake up too early. They also do not have a deep, continuous sleep; instead, they wake up often in between. On the other hand, they find it harder to stay awake during the day, especially at school.
- They become less active. They talk and walk slower. Their every movement is sluggish.
- They usually show signs of agitation. Children suffering from depression cannot sit still and constantly fidget about.
- They avoid people and everyday activities. Depressed children do not take part in any enjoyable activities.
- Children with depression withdraw from friends and family and stay more in solitude. Such avoidance and withdrawal are the main characteristic of depressed children.
- They become insecure and as a result become very demanding. These children also become more dependent on relationship.
- In certain activities, they tend to go out of control. They spend long hours doing such activities.
- Reckless behavior and restlessness also characterize depressed children.
- They take excessive risks and cause physical harm to themselves. They are more likely to inflict self-injury.