Depression is a life changing feeling. One day someone can feel like the world is at their fingertips and the next it can feel like there is no future and why bother anyway.
Depression in children is becoming more common each year with more kids being exposed to world hurts by the news, Internet, and schools. What's more, depression can be a mental illness caused by the brains inability to create enough serotonin to elevate the mood. While it is true that laughter is the best medicine in terms of generating more serotonin, kids, unfortunately, are finding less to laugh about these days.
For parents, having a child with depression can be bewildering, after all, what do they have to worry about? The truth is, however, that kids experience the same stress levels as you do. They face a job just like you do, (that's right, school is work, don't you remember?), but they have 5 or 6 bosses (teachers) that they have to please. Their work is much harder than it was when you were a kid and much more is expected of kids today than ever before. It isn't difficult to imagine that depression is going to be a problem when you look at it from a different perspective.
Some of the things that you can do to help your child with depression are:
- Let them know that you love them
- Express an interest in their everyday life
- Start therapy with them and stay involved
- Refrain from suggesting that your child has an easy life, that just makes it worse
- Keep a positive attitude about the things in your life that are going wrong such as job loss, inability to pay the bills, stress in your marriage, etc.
- Establish family time where all the members of your family participates
- Don't ignore the symptoms of a deepening depression as a phase, get treatment early
If your child has been diagnosed with clinical depression, then you may have to take things one step further. Here are some of the things you need to do:
- Make a schedule and stick to it
- Make sure your child gets their medication
- Establish a bed time, being well rested combats depression
- Make notes of any change in mood
- Encourage your child to talk about how they are feeling without judgement from you
You should also ensure that you follow through with any therapeutic plan your doctor or therapist has set into place so that there is consistency in your child's life and that they know that you are taking an active roll in how they feel.
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