In the first part of this discussion, we identified signs of childhood depression that may alert you as a parent. For this next section, we will be exploring some common causes of childhood depression that will help you better understand what your child is going through. Keep in mind that every child is different, and your child may be suffering from a combination of factors leading to his depression. By working with your child to overcome these issues, you can help him get to a better quality of life.
Bullying And Peer Pressure
Approximately 19.6% of high school students report being bullied at school, but there is no telling just how many children are actually impacted by bullying every year. Many events go unreported because the victims fear the consequences to come from speaking out against their aggressors. If your child is being bullied, the lowered self-esteem and constant stress could quickly send him into a depressive state. The same can be said about persistent peer pressure, both in school and in extracurricular activities.
Family History Of Depression
Children with a family history of depression are at a greater risk of becoming depressed than children without a family history of the condition. With that in mind, having a history of depression does not suggest that your child will suffer from depression, just like not having a family history of the condition will not prevent a child from becoming depressed over time. If you know your child is at risk though, keep a closer eye on his actions, emotions, and behaviors so you can catch the depression if it develops.
Children do not adapt as well to changes as adults do. Moving to a new house, changing schools, watching parents go through a divorce, having a new brother or sister – these are all big events in a child’s life. If you know about significant changes to come for your child, talk to him about them early on. Do what you can to ease the transition and make this an enjoyable experience for everyone. If you notice a change in your child’s behavior after the event, you may need to seek depression counseling to help him move forward.
For some children, depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in their system. Hormonal changes and growth spurts could spark these imbalances, but they could also be the result of improper nutrition or a lack of physical activity. Take your child for a checkup with the doctor at least once a year to make sure his body is growing and developing the way it is supposed to. You may be able to ward off depression symptoms before they ever come up.
Continue to the next part of this guide to learn how to treat childhood depression.