At any child care centre in the Perth or Wellard area, you will see a variety of children. Some are naturally cheerful while some are naturally shy or even withdrawn. Some are sad. Some, however, exhibit signs of childhood depression. If we think your child may be clinically depressed, we will voice our concern directly to you.
Childhood depression is an illness that indicates a child’s body chemistry may be unbalanced. Stigmatising childhood depression or going the other way and denying it are not healthy for your child. If you even suspect childhood depression, your child is in need of medical attention. Here are some things to look for.
Symptoms of Childhood Depression
Every child has bad moods. Every child has a day or two where it just doesn’t go right for them and they struggle. However, if your child displays symptoms that could be interpreted as depression for a period of two weeks or more, it is time to go to the doctor. Here are some of the symptoms.
A depressed child will be unhappy or sad more often than not. Depression can also manifest as aggression, rebellion, refusal to comply with parental instruction or temper tantrums. A child who becomes depressed may not seem to have as much energy as they once did. They may lose interest in things they used to enjoy doing.
Depressed children may exhibit self-loathing by self-deprecatory statements such as “nobody likes me” or “I’m not good at anything.” They may decide that everything is always their fault. They may worry a lot.
Often, depression manifests as a headache or pain in the abdomen that has no apparent medical cause. A depressed child can have problems with memory, concentration or sleeping or become withdrawn.
If this sounds like your child, call your doctor. Childhood depression can be treated if detected early enough and your child can have a normal life.