Looking into depression child treatment options is not a choice any parent wants to face. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 11 percent of people under the age of 18 in the U.S. will have at least one experience with major depression. It is important to note that the vast majority of minors who deal with depression are between the ages of 12 and 17, but this does not mean that younger children are not at risk. In fact, depression can strike at any age, and it can also be linked to other medical problems such as ADHD.
What Are the Symptoms of Depression?
If you are concerned that your young child or teenager could be depressed, you should pay close attention to the most common warning signs. For example, minors who appear to be socially isolated and exhibit major changes in their sleeping or eating patterns could be depressed.
Other symptoms include low energy, extreme sensitivity, hopelessness, frequent crying, poor concentration, low self-esteem, hostility, anger, running away from home, self-destructive behavior and an increasing number of school absences. Until the age of 10, boys are more prone to developing depression. However, after this point, girls experience depression much more often than boys.
How Common is Youth Suicide?
Although most parents like to believe that their children would never follow through on any suicidal thoughts or threats, it is vital to take immediate action if you have any reason to believe that your child is contemplating suicide. Tragically, suicide has become the third most common cause of death for individuals between the ages of 10 and 18, and 4,600 people die in the U.S. every year as a result of taking their own life. A firearm is used in 45 percent of these cases, so you need to ensure that it is impossible for your teenager or young child to access any guns that you have in your home.
As previously mentioned, girls tend to experience depression more often than boys, but statistics indicate that males who are battling with depression are much more likely to commit suicide. Due to this, you need to be especially careful if your son begins exhibiting any of the symptoms of major depression.
What Causes Depression During Childhood?
Most people who experience depression have issues with their brain chemistry or are genetically predisposed to developing a mental illness. However, children can also become depressed as a result of dealing with a stressful life event such as their parents getting divorced. Additionally, a child who is socially withdrawn by nature is at a much higher risk of experiencing depression at some point during their life.
Medical and Natural Depression Child Treatment Options
Many children will respond very positively to a holistic approach for a depression child treatment that includes exercise, adequate rest and eating a balanced diet. Keep in mind that some people respond very negatively to high quantities of red food dye and sugar, and you should remove any items from your child’s diet that appear to trigger negative behavior.
It is also a good idea to utilize psychotherapy along with natural depression child treatment methods to provide your child with an important outlet for discussing their feelings. If these treatment techniques do not solve the problem, you could consider the option of using herbal remedies such as Passiflora and St. John's Wort. Unfortunately, in some instances, it might be necessary to turn to a prescription medication for assistance. The FDA has approved one antidepressant, Prozac, for usage by children who are at least eight years old.
As you can imagine, childhood depression can be very traumatic and disruptive for the entire family. If left untreated, it could also cause your child to battle depression for the rest of their life. Therefore, it is critical to take steps to correct the problem as soon as you notice any combination of depression symptoms, and help them get back on track to living a healthier and happier life.
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