Signs of depression in children often get ignored because the tendency is to think that the problems of children are not as grave or as significant as that of adults. Needless to say, this underestimation makes little sense to the child because from his/her point of view, their problems are the most serious ones in the world as those problems are the only ones which are apparent, real, and sometimes even threatening to them. As a caring and informed parent, you should look for signs your child is depressed before trying to figure out what is causing the gloom in the first place.
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Any medical condition that interferes with your children’s daily lives can make them depressed, and this includes asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, allergies, heart conditions, etc. Being at least normal, and cool at best is the motto for almost every child, especially during the early years of school. Therefore, if a medical condition is hindering them from participating in everyday activities like others, depression is quite normal.
Learning disabilities, Tourette syndrome, ADD and ADHD, anxiety disorders, etc. are neurological conditions that can also lead to depression, both directly and indirectly. Aside from the fact that these conditions affect the chemical balance of the brain, the inevitable social embarrassment associated with neurological disorders may also further aggravate the depressive episodes.
A lot of children when subjected to abuse of any kind tend to keep it from their parents, and if they are keeping dark secrets, depression is a guaranteed side-effect alongside a number of other psychiatric disorders. The tendency to keep secrets is a big problem, but more often than not, it stems from a belief that talking about it with their parents will only make things worse. This is why it is important to maintain a clear and frank line of communication with your children.
Drugs and Alcohol
Drugs and alcohol are not only a huge problem among teenagers, but it’s a nationwide problem among adults as well. Along with multiple other psychologically and physically deteriorative side-effects, substance abuse will also lead to clinical depression, which is particularly hard to get out of for young adults and teenagers.
Depression isn’t something that you want to pass on to your children, but unfortunately, we don’t have much choice in the matter. If you or your spouse has a history of depression, there’s a possibility (40%) that it might be passed on to your children as well.\
It’s not easy to stay happy in this time and age when information is literally at your fingertips, and there has probably never been a single day in the history of news where something depressive hasn’t popped up to make us feel bad! On young minds, such impacts are much more intense. Even when shown as a form of entertainment, negative shows and movies have been found to be the cause for depression in children more often than not.
It isn’t practical to try and exclude every one of the possible causes of depression from a child’s life without restricting his/her life greatly, which would lead to depression and stunted mental growth as well. The smart parent believes in moderation rather than prohibition, but if the signs of depression do show up, they consult a professional before the depression gets its roots too far into the mind of the child.