Mental Health During A Pandemic: Depression in Children!
Currently, we are experiencing a Global Pandemic. For many of us, it's our first time experiencing something to this magnitude. Many have been furloughed, laid off, released from work and/or experiencing many hardships that can ultimately affect their Mental Health. Adults are having a difficult time, but have you ever stopped to think how this pandemic is having long-term effects on their Mental Health? Often, children are so easily overlooked. Does your child seem to have an ongoing case of the “blues?” Are they sluggish, angry or even just not as active? Have you ruled out the “D” word? Let’s talk about depression in children.
Of course, children will have days filled with frustration, anger, being tired and/or normal developmental problems. Although, not every sad or exhausted child is suffering from depression, childhood depression is real and present. If you noticed your child is having more bad days than good, or consistent sadness that interrupts their daily activities, your concern may be warranted. This may be alarming, but understand that depression is treatable and there are many options available for you and your child.
What signs should I look for before seeking help?
Oftentimes, children will “act out” showing aggressive behavior and some may show no aggression at all. Not all children will have the same signs/symptoms, it will present itself differently in every child, depending upon age and stages of development. With children, if the parent (or guardian) is not present, educated and in tune with the child, it may be hard to notice early signs of depression. There may be noticeable changes, which will continue to heighten without proper treatment.
Some common signs and symptoms:
Alarming drawings/ or stories
Thoughts of Death/ Writing about death
No desire to get out of bed
Change in behavior (Normal Activities)
How to seek help?
Common treatment consists of pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy or a combination of both. All treatment will correlate with the level of depression of each individual child. According to American Academy of Family Physician (aafp.org), treatment should correspond to the level of depression, patient preferences, the developmental level of the patient, associated risk factors, and availability of services.
Remember, you can always contactDynamic HealthCares to seek guidance on available services.