Childhood depression is a problem that tends to be unnoticed. The reason? Many adults think that it’s impossible for a child, who doesn’t have worries or responsibilities, to fall into this state.
But statistics tell a different story. According to results of recent research, 1 in every 100 children as well as 1 in every 33 adolescents suffer from depression. The most concerning thing is that just 25% of children and adolescents with this condition are diagnosed and treated.
How to identify a depressed child?
It’s important to know how to distinguish sadness from possible childhood depression. To do this, you should keep in mind the frequency, intensity, and duration of kids’ behaviors as well as their discomfort and how it affects their routine. Children may display irritability and anger, loss of appetite, sleeping problems, agitation, and psycho-physiological or motor symptoms.
Some vulnerability factors that can lead them to this state include a lack of social skills, problem-solving difficulties, social isolation, negative self-image, interpersonal difficulties with family or friends, and dysfunctional behavior with feelings of guilt.
The theory of learned helplessness and childhood depression states that in order to prevent childhood depression, children must feel that the results of their actions have consequences. If they don’t learn the possible ramifications of their deeds, instead believing that consequences are random or vague, then they’ll be completely lost.
What to do in case of childhood depression?
If you suspect that your child is suffering from depression, it’s best to talk to a specialist. The objective of these psychological interventions is to address the risk factors and problematic behaviors, which are associated with the child’s depression. These therapies don’t just deal with a child but also their family and environment.
Remember that the most important thing in the prevention of childhood depression is the presence of unconditional love!