Children depression symptoms, is my child depressed?

“Is my child depressed?” Fiona wanted to know, her 8 year old daughter Susan exhibited  what is known as ‘children depression symptoms’;  always in a sullen mood, withdrawn; not willing to play with other kids. She was not interested in eating anything, she refused to watch television and her mother who once thought that her kid was moody, now pondered if her child was suffering from depression.

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When Fiona took her child to the doctor, he told her that the child had symptoms that are were linked to depression in children. There were dark circles under her eyes, and her cheeks were sunken and she refused to make eye contact. It so happened that little Susan’s father had lost her job and the family was in financial crisis. Both of them finally did get different jobs and they got busy and they thought that Susan’s grand[parents would take care of the kid. But they were not able to do so and most of the time, the child would stare out of the window, feeling lonely; looking at the wide expanse of road in front of her . She would only talk to her doll and clung to her toy, so that no one would take it away from her.

Childhood depression is often confused as disobedient behavior. If it is not treated at the right time, children may not develop physically and mentally, and the anxiety and depression may well carry on to old age. Child psychologist Philip Mathers in Ohio says, :”A child’s emotional state is changed if there is a sudden blow that sweeps her into insecurity. Children have comfort zones consisting of their parents, siblings and grand-parents. If she or he is kept aloof from them, it can affect their personality and cause depression in children.”
Philip Mathers who attended Susan’s case says, “We asked her mother to take a month’s leave and be with the child so that the little girl would not feel lonely and isolated. Secondly, we asked both the parents to stop scolding her totally.”

Signs of depression in children
It may be confusing to looking for signs of depression in children and they are mostly left undiagonized and hence not treated, because they are thought of to be routine psychological and emotional changes of growing years in children.

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It is common for children to throw tantrum but some of them may just end up losing out their natural temperament, becoming weak and listless, and avoiding food, avoiding social interaction, breaking into sobs and not performing in school.

Philip Mathers advises parents to look into a behavioral change in children to find out if they are suffering from depression. For instance, if the child lacks interest in doing a thing that she once found to be quite enjoying.

Treating Depression in Children
To treat depression in children, the first thing to do is to make the children change their behavior toward the children. “ Appreciating and praising them is a simple but very effective way to treat childhood depression”. It is true but that when a child is depression, the self –esteem is at an all-time low.

For instance in Susan’s case, even toys and chocolates did not change her mood. Then they started the ‘child play therapy’ where Susan was given the same doll. Susan’s mom picked up the cues from the little girl’s interaction with the doll. Susan would talk to the doll, play with it and even try to give feed to the dool. In other words, Susan was acting as a mother and doing everything with the doll that she possibly wanted her mother to do.

Susan’s mother decided to do the same; she began to play with the girl and feed her. Soon, Susan started to eat again. The little girl began to love her food and gained her lost weight. Philp smiles, “Susan was just 8 kilos when she came to us. Now she is 11 kilos and she is chirpy as well. Her parents are happy and this is definitely good news for us.”

Children Depression symptoms
1. Irritability and anger
2. Weight loss
3. Reluctance to talk and withdrawing nature
4. Excessive sleep
5. Disrupted sleep pattern
6. Not interested in playing, eating or stuing
7. Taking rejection seriously and extremely sensitive nature(getting emotionally hurt easily)

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