If you think your child is suffering from depression Dr. Walter Perez at A to Z Pediatric and Youth Healthcare in Brookfield, IL and Addison, IL, can provide the diagnosis and care you need.
Addressing Depression in Children
People of all ages and demographics experience depression at some point in their lives. With some, it’s due to a current situation, like the loss of a loved one. Often – not always – these sad episodes fade with time. For others, depression becomes a regular part of life and is due to something much deeper.
Seeing your child suffering makes you worry. As a parent, you want to protect them and make everything better. Knowing the difference between temporary sadness and depression is the first step.
When your child is depressed, they’ll typically show one or more of the following signs:
- Mood swings and irritability
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sudden lack of enjoyment in activities, such as playing sports or hanging out with friends
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in their sleep
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Harming themselves or others
Children often go through changes in their appetite as they grow and become more or less active. Sometimes, kids simply lose interest in a sport or get into fights with friends. They tend to sleep more than usual as their bodies grow. And sometimes they just have a bad day. Therefore, most signs listed above don't automatically mean it's depression.
How, then, does a parent determine if what their child is feeling is normal or signs of deeper issues? Start by talking.
Ask your child why they are having trouble concentrating. They might explain that they simply don’t understand the subject or a kid in class is being disruptive.
Ask why they’re no longer interested in their friends and sports. They might tell you they’d rather play a different sport or their best friend is being mean.
However, you might also find they’re unsure why they feel that way. They may tell you that they feel sad, defeated, self-conscious, or other negative things. In such cases, you know that there is something deeper going on.
It’s also beneficial to visit Dr. Perez at A to Z Pediatric and Youth Healthcare, as he can help you determine what your child is experiencing. Whether it’s depression or not, he can provide recommendations for mental health resources and even lifestyle changes that help both you and your child manage the issues at hand.
You don’t have to navigate depression on your own. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Perez at A to Z Pediatric and Youth Healthcare in Brookfield, IL at (708) 905-5993 or Addison, IL at (630) 757-4010.