Kids With Depression Need Treatment
Kids who have depression often suffer longer than necessary because they don't get the assistance they need. Parents and guardians often miss signs of depression because they dismiss it as regular periods of anger or sadness. Things can get a lot worse quickly when a depressed child doesn't get help.
A child's mind is still developing, and they don't have as much life experience as adults, so depression affects them differently. They haven't developed all the tools they need to navigate life. As a result, depressed children are prone to making bad and dangerous choices.
The solution: Get them in a depression treatment program.
Know the Signs of a Depressed Child
You have to know that your child is depressed if you're going to help them. The primary way of identifying a problem is by paying attention to their behavior. If they're sad or angry for extended periods (weeks), or they're suddenly acting less interested in things they usually enjoy, it could be because they're depressed.
You can't diagnose your child's depression independently, but knowing the signs will help you understand when to contact their doctor to get a confirmed diagnosis. The faster you do that, the quicker your child can start feeling like themselves again.
Most doctors will recommend therapy to treat depressed children. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, is what's used the most. This therapy aims to help kids develop the skills and coping mechanisms they need to fight their depression.
CBT focuses on the connection between thoughts, emotions, and actions. When depression controls one of these things, the child can create positivity in one of the others areas. For example, if they feel sad, they could think about something positive or do something they love.
There are also other treatments, like Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), that can be effective for more severe cases of depression. IPT focuses on handling specific problems and scenarios and knowing what to do when they come up.
Your child's doctor will likely try therapy before prescribing your child medication for their depression. That's because antidepressants can lead to an increase in suicidal thoughts in children. That doesn't mean they can't be helpful in some instances, but kids need to be responsible when taking them, and parents need to pay attention to potential side effects.
A Strong Support System
A depressed child will benefit from having people in their life who realize what they're dealing with and help them in tough times. That includes family members at home and friends at school. It helps children stay positive when they know they're not alone.
For more information, contact a depression treatment program for youth in your area.