Depression strikes both children and adults, an epidemic that keeps growing. If you’re a parent of a child who suffers from depression, then you know it can be a very challenging thing to face. In our attempt to raise awareness about childhood depression we learned that most symptoms go unnoticed, so we’re sharing research from the Nemours Foundation about a few of the warning signs:
- A sad mood that lasts an especially long time
- Feelings of guilt that won’t abate
- Unmitigated grief
- An overall sense of worthlessness
- Feeling exhausted for no reason
- Major depression often leaves kids unable to take pleasure in daily activities
Sometimes parents and guardians miss the signs, writing them off as temporary sadness or a passing case of the blues.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America explains, “When symptoms last for a short period of time, it may be a passing case of ‘the blues.’ But if they last for more than two weeks and interfere with regular daily activities and family and school life, your child may have a depressive disorder.”
According to the Nemours Foundation, “As many as 1 in every 33 children may have depression; in teens, that number may be as high as 1 in 8.” Depression not only interferes with children’s quality of life but can also put them at risk for substance abuse and suicide.
Some kids need an extra helping of care and support. Others need more physical activity or new ways to relax and reduce their stress. One friend of mine incorporated the use of essential oils as a way to calm her son at night. Her son relaxes and sleeps more easily, and that’s one step toward elevating his mood.
Parents and adult friends can make a difference by knowing the facts and spreading awareness. Childhood isn’t easy these days—kids are known to put tremendous amounts of pressure on themselves. We encourage you to do the research and reach out to the community to find the right treatment for you and your loved one.
Learn more about depression in children, and be aware of ways you can help. If you suspect your child suffers from depression, we have listed several helpful resources below.