Some children's behavior that leads to depression is sometimes not understood by parents. They think what the child is experiencing is normal.

  15 Mei 2024 20:45 - Did you know that depression is not only experienced by adults, you know. Children can also experience depression due to certain factors, one of which is social and environmental factors. For example, there is a traumatic experience, lack of social support, family, and so on.

Apart from that, depression in children can also occur because of the family. As experienced by a 13 year old child with the initials A. It is known that A was experiencing depression because the cellphone (HP) he bought from his savings was sold by his parents to affect his daily needs.

Not only the cellphone, A's parents also sold the bicycle belonging to the child who was only in the 6th grade of elementary school. Since his belongings were sold, A prefers to daydream and ends up often throwing tantrums and even throwing things.

The condition experienced by A is only one of many cases of depression in children. So that parents are more aware of their children's mental conditions , let's learn more about what depression in children is, complete with symptoms, causes and how to overcome it.

The following is the complete review, reported by from various sources on Wednesday (15/5).

What is depression in children?

Getting to know depression in children, symptoms, causes and how to overcome it  2024

Get to know depression in children, symptoms, causes, and how to overcome it

Depression in children is a mood disorder that can make children feel sad and hopeless. This condition can affect the child's sleep routine, eating patterns, and relationships with other people.

In fact, depression can also cause children to lose their usual interests or hobbies. In severe cases, depression can trigger the desire to end oneself.

Depression in children and adolescents can appear in the form of long-lasting unhappiness or irritability. This condition is quite common in pre-teens and teenagers, but is often not recognized as an early form of depression.

For some children, these feelings are expressed in the phrase "I feel unhappy" or "I'm sad", and so on. There are also those who admit they want to hurt themselves, even end their lives.

It is important to understand that children and teenagers who are depressed are more at risk of hurting themselves, so if a child expresses something like this, they must always respond to it and pay more attention to them.

That said, depression is a more severe condition than normal sadness, and can significantly impact a child's life and ability to function. Depression in children is not only caused by one specific factor but usually consists of a number of biological, psychological and environmental factors which are part of the child's development.

Symptoms of depression in children.

Getting to know depression in children, symptoms, causes and how to overcome it  2024

Get to know depression in children, symptoms, causes and how to overcome it

Symptoms of depression in children can vary, but in general they can be divided into two categories, namely emotional and behavioral symptoms, and physical symptoms.

Emotional and behavioral symptoms.

1. Mood swings.

The child appears sad, moody, cries easily, or looks hopeless for a long period of time (usually more than 2 weeks).

2. Loss of interest.

Children lose interest and enthusiasm for activities they previously enjoyed, such as playing, studying, or spending time with friends.

3. Easily angry or having tantrums

The most common symptom of depression is that children become more irritable, offended, or even throw things, especially when criticized.

4. Feeling worthless

Apart from that, children also have negative feelings towards themselves, feeling worthless, unloved, or useless.

5. Feelings of guilt

Not infrequently, children who experience depression also have excessive feelings of guilt for things that happen, even though they are not their fault. For example, if a parent is angry, the child will feel that he is the reason his parent is angry or upset.

6. Withdraw from the social environment.

Children tend to want to play and do activities outside the home. When depressed, children appear more gloomy and tend to withdraw from friends, family or other social activities.

7. Difficulty concentrating.

Another symptom, when depressed, is that children have difficulty focusing and concentrating at school or when doing assignments.

8. Suicidal thoughts.

In severe cases of depression, the child may talk about wanting to commit suicide or harm themselves.

Physical symptoms.

Getting to know depression in children, symptoms, causes and how to overcome it  2024

Get to know depression in children, symptoms, causes and how to overcome it

1. Changes in appetite.

Children experience significant changes in appetite, which could be a decrease in appetite or even overeating.

2. Changes in sleep patterns

When depressed, a child's sleep pattern changes, starting from sleeping regularly, but instead having difficulty sleeping (insomnia) or even sleeping too much (hypersomnia).

3. Constant fatigue.

Depression also causes physical symptoms, for example the child looks weak, lethargic and gets tired easily throughout the day. Apart from that, there are also children who feel headaches or stomach aches. Even though there is no clear medical cause.

4. Weight loss.

The most common condition when a child is depressed is that the child loses weight for no apparent reason.

However, it needs to be understood that not all children who are depressed will show these symptoms. Therefore, if you see a child who shows the above symptoms continuously and interferes with the child's daily life, you should consult a pediatrician or psychologist for further examination.

Causes of depression in children.

Getting to know depression in children, symptoms, causes and how to overcome it  2024

Get to know depression in children, symptoms, causes, and how to overcome it

Depression in children can be caused by various interrelated factors, including:

1. Genetic factors.

A history of depression in parents or close family can increase a child's risk of experiencing depression. Depression is thought to involve genetic factors that influence brain development and neurotransmitter regulation.

2. Biological factors.

Hormonal changes and neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain can trigger depression. This can be caused by genetic factors, trauma, or chronic stress.

3. Psychological factors.

Children who have negative thought patterns, easily blame themselves, have low self-esteem, or have difficulty managing emotions are more susceptible to depression.

4. Environmental factors.

Traumatic experiences in childhood such as physical or sexual violence, bullying, parental divorce, death of someone close to you, can trigger depression. Chronic stress due to family problems or an unsupportive school environment can also have an impact.

5. Social factors.

Lack of social support from family and peers can make children feel lonely and isolated, thereby increasing the risk of depression. Apart from that, difficulty adapting to a new environment such as changing schools or different relationships can also be a risk factor.

Apart from that, several other mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), or anxiety disorders can also accompany depression in children.

How to deal with child depression.

Getting to know depression in children, symptoms, causes and how to overcome it  2024

Get to know depression in children, symptoms, causes and how to overcome it

Treating depression in children requires a holistic approach involving various parties, especially parents, therapists, and in certain cases pediatricians or child psychiatrists. Here are some things you can do to overcome your child's depression:

1. Parental support.

The role of parents is very important in helping children overcome depression. Parents need to provide love, understanding and emotional support. Create a safe and comfortable atmosphere for children to be able to open up and talk about their feelings.

2. Psychological therapy.

Counseling or psychotherapy with a child psychologist can help recognize and change children's negative thought patterns, as well as develop skills for dealing with emotions and stress in a healthy way. Some forms of therapy commonly used for children include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and play therapy.

3. Change in lifestyle.

Living a healthy lifestyle can help improve children's mood and energy. Getting enough sleep, regular exercise and consuming balanced nutritious food can have a positive effect on children's mental health. Even though it takes a long time, if accompanied by parents, children can overcome the depression they experience.

4. Supportive environment.

Apart from family, try to ensure that the school environment and friendships also play an important role. For example, working with teachers to create a supportive and bullying-free environment can help children recover from depression.

5. Use medication from a therapist.

It cannot be denied that in cases of severe depression, a child psychiatrist may prescribe antidepressant medication. However, this drug is usually used as an additional treatment along with psychotherapy.

6. Seek additional support.

For example, you can join a group for parents or children who experience depression. This can be a source of further information about how to deal with depression in children.

However, it needs to be understood that recovering from depression in children is not easy. The reason is that it requires extra time and patience for the people closest to you. Therefore, it is necessary to be consistent in implementing treatment steps and then continue to provide support so that you can help children get through this difficult time. If you feel overwhelmed in accompanying your child, don't hesitate to ask for help from a mental health professional.

Disclaimer: This translation from Bahasa Indonesia to English has been generated by Artificial Intelligence.