The rate of childhood depression is going up every year, but information and awareness of the disorder is lagging. Talking about mental illness still makes people uncomfortable, and the stigma keeps them from getting help. After all, what does a child have to worry about?
A mental disorder is defined as a significant change in the way children act, learn, or handle their feelings. The most commonly diagnosed childhood conditions are attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, and behavior disorders, but depression is also common.
Childhood depression is a diagnosable medical illness that carries a risk of suicide, but treating it reduces the future risk of longer and more severe depressive episodes. Although it often goes undiagnosed, depressive disorder is highly treatable, and evidence-based treatment options are available. Because genetics, mental health, and environment all play a role, treatment should fit the individual needs of the child.
Statistics show depression often occurs with other mental conditions:
The symptoms of childhood depression differ from adult depression. Angry or irritability is more common in young people, and they are also more likely to have physical symptoms. Other signs include a loss of interest in things once enjoyed, withdrawal at home or school, inability to focus, and changes in sleep or eating habits.
If a depressed child gives away prized possessions, threatens to run away from home, or seems preoccupied with death and dying, get help immediately. Other signs may include a change in the way they dress, the shows they watch on TV, or the way they use the computer.
Children may not discuss suicidal thoughts directly, but they might talk about not wanting to live, wanting to make their problems go away, or thinking going away might make things easier for everybody else.
The more withdrawn children are, the less likely they are to express thoughts of suicide. Parents can help by knowing what to look for and being aware that thoughts of self-harm often accompany depression in young people.
If a child you love is depressed, help is available. Early recognition and treatment make the disorder easier to treat, less likely to reoccur, and less likely to lead to addiction.
At Enlightened Solutions, our program includes traditional medical care and counseling, but we also provide complementary therapies like yoga and meditation. We know recovery begins with finding the reason for the problem and using an integrated approach to heal the entire person.
Get help at a New Jersey holistic detox center now.
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