Recognizing symptoms of depression in children is not always an easy thing to do, and even if you are cognizant of the fact that something doesn’t seem right, knowing and understanding how best to combat depression can be another issue altogether. Sometimes depression might be related to environmental issues, other times it could be social, physiological or mental, and sometimes some combination thereof.
The ways in which you decide to fight depression in children will likely be based upon numerous factors, including but not limited to the severity of the depression, your relationship with the child, your experience with and understanding of depression, as well as your economic situation. If you’re having difficulty getting started combating child depression, here are a few things to consider that might help you to better fight your battle.
One of the first steps in looking for ways to fight depression in children is by opening a line of communication between them and you. Allowing them to feel comfortable confiding in you and talking openly and honestly about their troubles, concerns, and issues in their lives can be a great way to help you guide them through troubled waters or at least gain a better understanding of what is bothering them and why.
While you might discover that their issues are above and beyond what you are experienced to handle, this can lead you to other options in helping to handle their depression.
In this day and age of prominent childhood obesity, it can be important to look at your child’s health and how it affects their outlook on life and possibilities of depression. Feeling good, being self-confident, and maintaining a positive image may be important aspects in fighting depression in a child. By getting them quality physical exercise, you may further this positivity as well as help them meet and interact with other children.
Friends and Family
A positive and active social life, both inside and outside the family circle, may help to fight depression in children. While building relationships with close family can certainly be important in a child’s upbringing, getting out, meeting, and interacting with other children may also be a healthy way to combat depression. This might also help children learn important social skills that can allow them to keep depression at bay as they grow and mature.
As much as you might want to fix all that is wrong in the world for your child, it just won’t always be possible. Therefore, you might look to outside depression counseling to assist in the depression fighting process.
While you may at first feel embarrassed or that you are failing as a parent, or you may not want outsiders interfering or influencing your child, remember, this isn’t about you. You should not feel that there is anything wrong with seeking professional help when it comes to the health and well-being of your child.
Talking, coaching, and counseling may not be enough when it comes to remedying your child’s depression. And while medication may not be the first or choice option on your list, it may be a possibility and could help your child in his or her fight. However, while studying and learning about various medications and treatments can be a good idea, you’ll likely want to seek out professional medical advice to find the treatment or treatments that best suit your child and to avoid under or over-medicating.
Jamie enjoys writing about the different ways to manage life’s challenges. She is a college professor and a licensed counselor in Houston. Jamie has been helping women and adolescent girls deal with depression, anger, grief and more for nearly a decade.