Children have many of the same symptoms that adults have and is important to remember that depression is not just sadness. There is so much more to depression and telling someone who has these feelings to “Buck Up” or “Keep Going…You’ll Get Over It” is a terrible plan. This is a destructive approach and does not end well. See video on Depression.
There are many angles to consider like how to explain depression to a child. For quick answers see FAQs.
Core Knowledge to Follow for Mental Health Basics:
- Do not consume alcohol of any kind
- Restrict coffee, tea and other depressants and stimulants
- Follow a daily schedule (i.e. up at 7am and in bed by 10:30p)
- Stop all screen time, games, phone at LEAST one hour prior to bed
- Exercise 4-6 times per week at aerobic heart rate levels
- Eat fresh foods, lots of water and nutritional snacks (low sugar)
Here are 10 symptoms you should watch for in your children (or yourself) that are most common.
- Ongoing feelings of worthlessness
- Even when your child is doing good things and trying to be positive this feeling is ongoing and hard to shake.
- Feeling / expressing guilt or a general sense of uselessness
- Watch for comments, jokes, journaling where these are expressed
- Not paying attention when others are focused
- Low attention span is common with depression and can be one of the first signs
- Low attention span by itself does not indicate depression
- Ongoing irritability much of the time
- This is often passed over as being a “teenager”, but carries more serious needs if driven by depression
- Passing on fun activities
- Dis-regulation can happen in eating, work, sleep, relationships and just about anything. Watch for patterns that are disrupted and extreme.
- Pattern changes in eating: eating more or much less than usual
- Showing changes in sleep patterns – sleeping a lot more or a lot less than normal
- Energy shifts: tired, tense, droopy
- [Note:] Sleep is a critical component to recovery. Studies indicate that TMS treatment can help with sleep quality, which also helps other symptoms improve.
- Signs of self-injury (cutting, scraping) and self-destructive behavior
- Have a talk that is direct and simple if you are seeing signs of cutting or self-destructive behavior and ask “Are you considering thoughts of death or suicide?” Wait for an answers. Show love and patience as they share. Ask a second, third or 20th time if needed. There is help available right now. Don’t put crucial conversations off. This is a great time to NOT FREAK OUT. Stay the adult and offer love and calmness. See Self Harm Video.
#disregulation #depression #choosementalhealth #sadness