Spotting the signs of depression in young children

CorporalPunishment m 0702Mental health conditions are on the rise and its not just affecting adults. Children as young as just five are now being treated with the likes of depression so its more important than ever to keep a close eye on the wellbeing of your child.

With youngsters well-known for suffering from mood swings and tantrums as they go through adolescence, its understandably difficult to know when your child is just being a child or when there might be something more serious going on.

Below is a quick guide to the signs and symptoms of depression but if you have any concerns whatsoever, we strongly recommend that you speak to a professional.

The most obvious sign to look out for is a persistent low mood and unhappiness along with tearfulness or irritability that doesnt seem to be related to anything specific. When something sad happens its perfectly normal for everyone to feel distressed but if your childs reaction is too extreme or has gone on for far too long, this could also be a sign of depression.

Dr David Kingsley, a consultant adolescent psychiatrist also says that if your childs mood is affecting their day-to-day life then this is a sign that a mental health problem should be investigated:

If a young person is unable to function at school and has lost interest in things they were previously interested in, thats a major sign. So is increasing social isolation. These are signs that low mood is causing significant impairment.

Other signs may include feeling hopeless, being very angry, changes in eating and sleeping habits, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fatigue, difficulty concentrating or having thoughts of death or suicide.

If you are concerned that your child could be displaying the signs of depression, please feel free to visit our page which details the signs and symptoms or feel free to contact Life Works in the strictest of confidence. 

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