Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tips to Recognize Depression in Children Through Behavioral Patterns

Depression is a killer, in short. An adult in depression experiences several mental, emotional, and cognitive problems in understanding and dealing with depression so one can imagine how much trouble a child may face with depression. Sadly, children are not in a position to realize when they are depressed therefore, the onus lies on their parents or guardians to monitor a child's behavior for any signs of depression.

Here are a few tips that will help you diagnose depression in kids by observing their behaviors:

  • The child will prefer to live in solitude and withdraw in his own world. He will prefer the confines of his own bedroom and always avoid interacting or meeting with people whether family members or outsiders.

  • The child will tend to avoid participating in everyday activities and responsibilities with vigor and enthusiasm. He will always seem lost in his own world.

  • A depressed child will show behavior of insecurity. This means that the child will tend to feel insecure when the person he loves goes out of his sight for even a few minutes. In extreme cases, the insecurities take the shape of suspicion and increase in depression frequency.

  • A depressed child will cling to the person he loves. This is akin to insecurity, but there is a difference - the child will feel lost when left alone and seek attention by clinging to people. This is different from insecurity feelings.

  • The child will have outbursts - it can be anger, sadness or excessive happiness without any reason. Yes, we all have outbursts at some points in our life to give vent to frustrations, but that do not make us depressed. The thing to note here is that a depressed child will have outbursts without any apparent reason like shouting to a parent just because he did not get the book he wanted.

  • When the depression increases, a child may inflict self-harm to get attention or try to end his life because he finds it worthless. Self harm is dangerous.

A kid displaying any of the above signs should be given immediate medical attention to diagnose depression and start its treatment. Lack of awareness will only create problems for the child when he grows up and for those people who will be associated with him later in life.

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