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Depression in Children

Depression in Children

Depression in children can be scary to parents and guardians notice that the child is experiencing depression. It is important to know that help is out there. Across all age groups, depression is an increasingly common diagnosis. Having depressive thoughts, or participating in depression counseling, does not indicate weakness in any way, shape, or form! Far from it – it can take a great deal of strength to face one’s own state of mind.

There are many factors that contribute to depression in children, including genetic, psychological, environmental, social, and biological factors. Additionally, major life changes or traumatic events can cause one to experience the symptoms of depression. And some episodes of depression may occur without any obvious cause at all! Because there are so many contributing and intersecting factors involved, most children require the help of a professional in order to sort through it all. With the right care and support, you can expect your child to find great relief from daily symptoms.

Symptoms to Be on the Lookout for

Depression can manifest in a wide variety of ways, but there are some typical signs. It tends to create a state of low energy, moodiness, and aversion to physical and mental activities that other children may not find nearly as emotionally taxing. Feeling this way on a regular basis can severely affect a child’s sense of well-being and self-esteem, especially when they compare themselves to their non-depressive peers.

A child experiencing depression may feel sad, anxious, empty, helpless, hopeless, worried, worthless, guilty, irritable, hurt, or restless. They may lose interest in activities that once were pleasurable to them; they may experience loss of appetite, or develop a habit of overeating; they may have problems concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions; they may experience insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, loss of energy, aches, pains, or digestive problems that are resistant to treatment; and in severe cases, they may contemplate or attempt suicide.  Without treatment, the frequency and severity of these symptoms tend to increase over time.

How to Help

Support for depression varies with the symptoms being presented, but it usually includes counseling, medication, or a combination of both. There are also a number of recommendations for “at home” treatments that can be used in coordination with counseling or medication. These treatments may include, but are not limited to: consistent exercise; a clean, nutrient-based diet; plenty of water; time spent outdoors in sunshine and nature; meditation; and quality-time with loved ones. It is always advised to work with your doctor and a licensed medical professional in order to find the right treatment plan for anyone suffering from depression.

If you and your doctor determine that counseling is the next step for your family, then you want to find a licensed psychologist who has specific experience working with depression in children. There are several approaches that have been shown to help individuals recover from depression. These different approaches can help identify triggers and factors that may contribute to current symptoms, find ways to change or adapt to those triggers into healthier patterns, set realistic goals for feeling better, identify and rewrite outdated thought processes or behaviors that contribute to deteriorating mental wellbeing, and develop longterm problem-solving skills.

References
Anxiety Disorders. (March 2016). In National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-what-you-need-to-know/index.shtml
Anxiety Disorders. In National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml.
Overcoming Depression: Counseling and Therapy. In Clinical Depression. Retrieved from http://www.clinical-depression.co.uk/dlp/treating-depression/overcoming-depression-counseling-and-therapy/.

Carolina Partners is Here for You and Your Child

If you think your loved one would benefit from depression counseling, please reach out to Carolina Partners today at 919-929-9610. Carolina Partners in Mental HealthCare provides not only top quality, compassionate mental health care in the areas of psychology, psychiatry, and counseling, but also provides extraordinary general wellness services. In addition to calling our office for more information, you can also search our specialists, and look for a counselor specializing in depression with children, here at our online portal. While using our search to find the specialist right for your family, you can set your search parameters based on desired location, age range, accepted insurances, speciality areas, and more.

We at Carolina Partners want you and your family to live successfully and happily, and we want to be your partners in making that happen. We firmly believe all people have a right to supportive, transformative, and all-encompassing health care – the kind that strengthens individuals, families and communities. We believe in personalized and patient-centered care, where you are in control and empowered by your providers, and strive to be our community’s support network.

Another common form of treatment includes Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). DBT is a form of psychotherapy that was originally developed by Marsha M. Linehan, a psychology researcher at the University of Washington, to treat people with borderline personality disorder (BPD). DBT combines standard cognitive-behavioral techniques for emotion regulation and reality-testing with concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindful awareness largely derived from Buddhist meditative practice. DBT may be the first therapy that has been experimentally demonstrated to be generally effective in treating BPD. A meta-analysis found that DBT reached moderate effects. Research indicates that DBT is also effective in treating patients who present varied symptoms and behaviors associated with spectrum mood disorders, including self-injury. Recent work suggests its effectiveness with sexual abuse survivors and chemical dependency.

At Carolina Partners, our professional associates have experience dealing with virtually every mental health care issue. We utilize a multidisciplinary approach that assures every client the absolute best treatment currently available. Areas we treat include, but are not limited to, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anger management, anxiety disorders, bipolar / mood disorders, cognitive disorder, dementia, depression, developmental disabilities, dissociative disorder, domestic / child abuse, eating disorders, family therapy, gambling, grief / loss, LGBTQ affirmative therapy, obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD / trauma, personality disorders, postpartum depression, relationship conflict / divorce, schizophrenia, self-harm, sleep disorders, and substance use / abuse disorder.

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