Depression in Children, What Should Parents Do?
Just like adults, children can also develop mental health disorders, such as depression. Symptoms of depression in children are generally similar to those of adults, but can sometimes look different.
Children who experience symptoms of depression may not always look gloomy or sad, but become more aggressive and easily irritated. Adults around him may interpret it as a naughty attitude, without realizing it as a symptom of depression. So, what should parents do to deal with depression in children? Check out the tips after this!
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This is What Parents Need to do in Sealing With Depression in Children
Children usually don’t quite understand what they’re going through, so they can be overwhelmed and confused. Here are some things parents can do to deal with depression in their children:
1. Be patient and try to understand children
The mood of a child who is depressed can fluctuate, which can also frustrate parents. However, it is important to develop patience and try to understand the child better. Maintain a positive relationship with the child, so that he still feels close to his parents.
2. Make More Time for Children
Similarly, when a child is physically ill and needs the presence of a parent to care for him, it is the same with dealing with depression in children. Spend more time than usual with children. This is useful for knowing what the child is experiencing, feeling, and thinking.
Plus, spending time with your child when he’s depressed can also help improve his mood. Try taking your child to a fun activity that he enjoys, or just having a meal with him.
3. More Sensitive to Changes in Children’s Conditions
Parents should be more sensitive to changes in conditions experienced by children. Know when your child is experiencing symptoms of depression and encourage them to express what they are feeling and thinking.
Never ignore the symptoms of depression shown by your child. If you are confused, use the Halodoc application to ask a clinical psychologist for children and adolescents, to determine whether there is a possibility of depression from the symptoms experienced by the child.
4. Meet Children’s Needs
Make sure your child eats a healthy and balanced diet every day, gets regular exercise, and gets enough sleep. If there are medicines that are prescribed for your child, make sure he takes them according to the dosage and recommendations.
5. Teach Relaxation Techniques
It is also important to teach relaxation techniques to children, to help them cope with symptoms of depression that attack. Some relaxation techniques that can be taught to children are mindfulness, breathing techniques, visualization, and progressive muscle relaxation.
Also, help children to sort out negative thoughts that are experienced and turn them into positive thoughts. Always give praise and support when the child is doing ways to deal with depression experienced or when the child is progressing.
6. Take care of yourself
Although always being present and paying attention to children is very important, don’t forget to also take care of your own physical and mental health. Dealing with depression in children can be frustrating for parents, but it is important for parents to stay physically and mentally healthy.
Recognize the Signs of Depression in Children as Early as Possible
The most important thing to do before trying to deal with depression in children is to recognize the signs. Sometimes, the signs of depression in children can be different and are only considered normal emotional changes during growth.
Here are some signs of depression in children that parents need to recognize:
- Often wants to be alone and does not want to play with friends.
- Often cries or screams.
- Easily irritated and angry.
- Appetite continues to decrease or even increase.
- Weight loss or even increase.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Very sensitive to rejection.
- Often talk about death or suicide.
- Lack of sleep or sleeping too much.
- Feeling worthless.
- Often tired for no apparent reason.
If your child has any of these signs of depression, don’t wait to seek professional help, such as a child and adolescent clinical psychologist. The earlier symptoms of depression in children are recognized and diagnosed, the easier treatment can be.