Every kid has a different personality. They have different perspectives and opinions on things. Which makes every child unique in their own way. Which makes parenting difficult. Some kids are introverts, some are extroverts and some are ambiverts. There are siblings who are polar opposites in nature. And not only kids but every person has different way of expressing things like what they feel, what they want, what they need. Even if a person is like a open book you can never fully know what is going through their brain. Kids may seem like they speak what’s on their mind out loud but there are some things that can’t get off their chest Or express freely.
Depression or any other mental health problem is not something that appears one day out of nowhere. It is caused by a lot and a long time of emotional build-up of many many things. And can occur because of various factors. Depression is quite hard to catch up to on your own. Even adults have a hard time realizing and accepting that they have depression. So if grown adults can be confused then a little kid would be way more puzzled. Which is why we as parents or guardians need to pay close attention to the behavioural changes in kids. But the thing to remember is that some of the signs can be fairly similar to the actual personality traits of some people which may cause confusion. So it’s important to distinguish between personality traits and odd behavior.
Now lets jump head first into the ” Early Signs Of Depression In Kids”.
Social Withdrawal :-
Kids tend to enjoy spending family time or play time with friends. But as sadness and these negative thoughts grow on them they withdraw themselves from social settings. They tend to avoid people, shut people out of their lives. Which could and most of the times makes the illness worse.
Changing Sleeping Schedules :-
Most of the patients who have dealt with depression have noted that they have issues with sleep. Sleep deprivation because of insomnia or being extremely sleepy. There is no middle ground, you can go from extreme sleepiness to extreme Insomnia. But this not being able to fall asleep makes most people vulnerable which causes some people end up crying to sleep or have very negative and dark thoughts.
Extreme Irritability and Anger :-
Normally anger is used to hide underlying hurt or sadness which is what happens in this case very often. Some people naturally tend to get angry over small things but depression changes the way people react to situations. You get irritated over things that don’t matter or do not concern you. Anything gets you on edge which causes anger outbursts.
Changes In Eating Habits :-
It’s like how you are not hungry but still eat because you are bored. This is the case here just with some twist, they will either eat excessive amounts of food or eat way less than they should. Eating too much is done just too fill up the emptiness they feel within themselves. And eating less to no food is caused by not wanting to eat when hungry or not feeling good enough to eat.
Due mental strain, sleep deprivation and, malnutrition, constant changes in feelings it is very natural to feel tired. Not getting rest due to sleep deprivation, constantly feeling sad, guilty, anxious or hopeless can cause a troll on the energy level.
Physical Pain :-
Most of the people must have felt some kind of discomfort before exams due to stress of exams. Which is what happened in this case too. Your brain is constantly being abused by thinking of dark and negative thoughts. Which may cause something in body to hurt out of context. Some get extreme stomachache, some have constant headache. These physical effects can be different for every person.
Difficulty To Concentrate :-
As your brain is pretty much occupied with this dark stuff it is really hard to concentrate on any other things. Having too much to take care of can cause errors. Having excessive amounts to work on canmake you forgetful and cause troubles while focusing.
Suicidal Thoughts :-
This is quite tricky as any suicidal person can casually slip suicide into irrelevant conversations. Which may seem odd but nobody pays attention to it. It’s like talking about eating and somebody talks about choking all of a sudden. It is subtle but you can determine if you play enough attention. It’s like saying I think it would be good to die in an accident because then you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone.
Finally if you observe that your child, your beloved kid is going through something like this. All you need to do is talk to them, make sure that they know you are there for them, take them to a doctor, get their medication and therapy started, comfort them from time to time. And with all that remember that it is not their fault. Emotional damage or pain is harder to cure not impossible though. So you need to be strong and continue to work towards getting better. Starting with self love, because self love is very important. It’s okay to want to give up, but you need to keep reminding yourself that you need to get better not for someone else but for yourself.