Childhood Depression Signs, Reasons and Solutions

Childhood, the innocent phase of life when one is without a care in the world. Most parents also strive to provide the very best for their children in this period. However, with the many challenges that one is facing today, there are times when despite best efforts something goes amiss. Then, some kids may not be able to cope with the circumstances and get depressed. “Depression” is a word that is generally not associated with children but, the truth is that they too get afflicted by it.

A child may get sad or throw tantrums which is a normal part of growing up. We may choose to ignore or address this behavior. However, if this persists or interferes with their attitude, interactions, or performance in academic and social life then it shouldn’t be overlooked. Below are some pointers to understand why depression occurs, recognize its signs and symptoms, and some helpful tips to address it.

Some Reasons for Childhood Depression:

Sometimes a single reason may be the cause behind the depression of the child. However, at times, it may occur due to a combination of issues. The factors that may lead to childhood depression include:

  • Physical wellbeing or illness
  • Tragic events in family that may occur such as the death of a loved one or separation of parents
  • Being bullied or facing some trouble in school
  • Family history wherein it has been observed that children whose parents suffer from depression may get afflicted by it earlier than other kids
  • Genetic factors or some clinical imbalance in the body

A parent may need to look into each of the issues individually to assess the reason. They could also consult the school, teacher, or interact with close friends to get a clear picture.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression:

Different Children may show different signs according to their settings and environment. Some commonly observed traits are:

  • Anger or being irritable for longer periods
  • Being continuously sad or feeling hopeless and helpless
  • Changes in appetite that may include under or overeating
  • Increased or decreased sleep or drastic change in sleep patterns
  • Continuous complaints of aches and pains that persist despite treatment
  • Reduced interaction with peers, friends, and family
  • Has difficulty while concentrating on routine tasks
  • Low energy levels
  • Highly sensitive to any comments or suggestions
  • Increased crying and other outbursts

As a parent, one may need to observe for pronounced changes that deviate from normal. If these changes continue for more than two weeks then it becomes a matter of concern.

Solutions and Treatment Options for Childhood Depression:

This usually comprises a multipronged approach wherein clinicians and family members have to join hands in support of the child. The following are some steps that can be undertaken:

  • Psychotherapy would involve counseling sessions by a qualified practitioner
  • Medical treatment may include prescription of antidepressant drugs by a doctor
  • Unconditional support for the child from parents, siblings, extended family members and teachers
  • Assistance from the school for the child to cope with disturbing factors if any
  • Help from friends and others in society to overcome this condition

It is vital to understand that depression if left undiagnosed and untreated may have far-fetching consequences. However, the good news is that it can be treated.

In conclusion, childhood is a precious gift that must be nurtured. Challenges do come and if depression is one of them then the child must be given unstinted backing to overcome it.

Remember: depression is not a stigma and can affect anyone hence, the issue must be dealt with face-on so that it can be nipped in the bud.


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