If you haven’t noticed by now, depression rates are through the roof. In fact, kids are experiencing not only higher depression rates overall but more intense depression rates, too. While I believe that there are specific reasons why we got here, they do not matter. What matters is helping these children and reducing depression rates overall. It is so important, in my opinion, and we need to be doing everything that we possibly can…starting now. Here are a few tips for helping kids with depression:
Learn warning signs
First of all, it’s really important to learn common warning signs. However, one thing to note about this is that not all kids are created equal. Sometimes, even kids without warning signs have depression and that is why it is so very important to know your children specifically. Children go through various phases. There are often a lot of mood swings and emotional episodes that come with adolescence, and it can be hard to know when their behavior is a part of growing up and when it’s more serious. If you see changes with them, it’s important to start watching closely and get them help, when needed. Some common warning signs of depression are the following:
Lack of interest
Academic success deterioration
Drastic changes in eating habits (too little or too much)
Feeling guilty and ashamed
Lack of energy and motivation
Fatigue and aches
Thoughts of suicide and death
Check into bullying
One major factor of depression could be bullying. If your children might be experiencing bullying, figure it out. If it is in school, speak with your children and their teachers directly to figure out a game plan for ending the bullying.
Help them feel connected with sports and other groups + activities
Depression can lead to isolation. Loneliness is a common experience with 80% of the population under 18 years of age. A lack of interaction and connection can worsen depression symptoms. Obviously, you can’t make your child have friends or force them to socialize. Some children find it hard to socially interact and make the first move with new friends. That’s why this subject matter is delicate and takes time. You can:
-Inspire your child to join a club at school or attend activities.
-Give them ideas on attending various social events
-Encourage play dates and sleepovers at your house
-Organize family gatherings
Whatever makes your child stay in contact with people will help. Just remember, don’t leave loneliness unattended. It won’t go away on its own. Sports, groups, and other activities definitely help children feel more connected and can help kids with depression, anxiety, or feeling alone.
Consider professional counseling – for them or for your whole family
Professional counseling services can be extremely beneficial. Places such as Restorative Counseling Services can help with individual counseling, family counseling, and Atlanta Couples Therapy, too. When it comes to depression, Restorative Counseling Services says: “Everyone experiences sadness from time to time, but when the sadness is prolonged it can become extremely difficult to envision a life worth living. Depression can make you feel as if there is no hope and that you’ll never experience joy again. It may seem as if no one can understand or help you, and you may even be at a loss for words to describe precisely how you’re feeling. Depression is a real medical condition, and most people need treatment in order to feel better.
Our team at Restorative Counseling Services understands how depression can hold you back from enjoying life to the fullest. Our counselors provide a safe and non-judgmental space for you to discuss the ways depression has impacted you. We will help you to discover not only the root of your depression but how to create healing throughout the process and help you develop the skills necessary to move out from under depression. We recognize that everyone has their own specific needs, and your therapist will create a specific, tailor-made approach to equip you with coping skills that will help you live a life free from depression.”
Depression, especially in your children, is not something that you should tackle alone. Get them the help that they deserve.
Give them one-on-one time
Sometimes, the result of depression could be coming from you…and this isn’t something that a lot of parents talk about. Kids 100% react towards what is going on at home. Maybe you are fighting a lot with or in front of them. This can and will affect them. In addition, maybe you are not giving them one-on-one time. If not, start doing so. Giving them one-on-one time will boost their happiness and show them they are loved. This can help so much!