Is Your Child Depressed? Two Key Signs

Is Your Child Depressed? Two Key Signs

Depression in children, teenagers, and adolescents is similar to depression in adults. Problematically, mood and emotional changes in younger people are often overlooked because adults think depression in youth is not the same as depression in adulthood. However, depression can be severe and elevate the risk for substance abuse. Hopelessness and sadness are two of the most obvious changes in mood and personality which should be noted by parents.

Hopelessness

Dictionary.com defines hope as “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out”. A feeling or an expectation that there are possibilities in life is another way to define hope. Often in recovery, hope is used as an acronym: Hold On, Pain Ends. Hope is what can get us through difficult times because hope allows us to hold onto the idea that difficult times will end. Children, teenagers, and adolescents are meant to be hopeful. With little experience and programming, young people are meant to have all the hope in the world because they do not know how to expect anything different. Hopelessness in children is an urgent sign of depression. “Feeling or causing despair about something” is a state of being in children which stands out. When a child suddenly demonstrates hopelessness from an either mild or to a severe degree, there is cause for concern. Something in their life- whether it is their social life, their personal life, or the life of their mind- has become greatly unbalanced, causing them to lose perspective on hope.

Sadness

Children are prone to sadness for a variety of causes. Empathetic, children can be saddened by watching a character on TV or in a movie struggle. Losing a toy, not getting their way, or being rejected can all cause sadness in children. Children are, however, remarkably resilient and can overcome sadness quickly- indicated by the way they stop crying in an instant and get back to laughing or playing. When that resilience goes missing, parents should take note. Pervasive sadness or relentless crying is a sign that a child has lost their emotional resiliency as well as their ability to emotionally regulate. Chronic feelings of sadness is a key indicator of depression.

Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center is a private residential treatment program in Mississippi, serving adolescent and teenage boys with foundation building, life-cleansing programming for recovery. If addiction has found its way into the life your loved child, call us today for information on our clinical and academic support: 662-598-4214

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