Health & Fitness The hidden signs of depression in children every parent needs to know about

10:00  10 october  2017
10:00  10 october  2017 Source:   mamamia.com.au

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Experts at the PACER Center take a look at preschool depression in young children — the signs , risk factors, and ways parents can cope. But understanding that young children may be depressed means that it is easier for them to get the help they need .

Depression in one child can cause stress or anxiety in other family members, so make sure “healthy” children are not ignored. Teen Suicide: What Parents Need to Know – Learn about the risk factors, warning signs , and the steps you can take to protect your teen from suicide.

getty © Provided by Mamamia getty Primary aged children can suffer depression yet many parents struggle to spot the signs of a mental health problem in their children, a national poll has found.

Research released from The Royal Children's Hospital’s Child Health Poll found only a third (35 per cent) of more than 2000 parents surveyed were ‘confident’ in recognising the signs of a mental health problem in their child.

A further third of parents believed a child’s mental health problems might be best left alone to work themselves out over time; and less than half (44 per cent) felt confident they would know where to get help if their child experienced social, emotional or behavioural difficulties.

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Director of the RCH Poll, paediatrician Dr Anthea Rhodes, says children can develop many of the same mental health difficulties as adults but they often manifest in different ways, making them harder to recognise.

Frequent tearfulness and crying is not normal in children and seeking professional help sooner rather the later is really important, Dr Rhodes says.

Ongoing physical complaints can also be a sign of social or emotional problems in children and teenagers.

“Even if parents are unsure, there is no harm in having a conversation with their GP or school counsellor about any emotional, social or behavioural difficulties they think their child may be experiencing,” Dr Rhodes added.

“Ignoring signs that may indicate a child is in need of help can result in the problem becoming more entrenched and much harder to treat.”

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Here are the signs of depression in children and tips on how to best help them overcome it. What parents can do at home to help their depressed child . Depression in children is curable. Make the time during your day, every day, to spend quality time with your child .

One of the biggest myths about childhood depression (also known as pediatric depression ) is that it doesn't exist. Signs & Symptoms of Pediatric Depression . Depression tends to manifest differently in kids than it does in adults. “For the most part, children and teens experience fatigue and irritability

SIGNS OF POSSIBLE MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS IN YOUNGER CHILDREN

* Sadness a lot of the time

* Ongoing worries or fears

* Obsessions or compulsive habits that interfere with everyday life

* Ongoing problems getting along with other children or fitting in at school, kinder or child care

* Aggressive or consistently disobedient behaviour, such as frequent yelling, kicking, hitting, biting or damaging things around them

* Frequent physical complaints, such as headaches or tummy aches

* Sleep problems, including nightmares.

SIGNS OF POSSIBLE MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS IN TEENAGERS

* Having trouble coping with everyday activities

* Seeming down, feeling things are hopeless, being frequently tearful or lacking motivation

* Having trouble eating or sleeping

* Difficulties with attention, memory or concentration, a drop in school performance, or suddenly refusing to go to school

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* Avoiding friends or withdrawing from social contact

* Complaints of frequent physical pain, such as headache, tummy ache or backache

* Being aggressive or antisocial, for example, missing school, getting into trouble with the police, fighting or stealing

* Losing weight or being very anxious about weight or physical appearance

* Repeated use of drugs or alcohol

* Self-harming behaviours.

Related: 15 Foods That Boost Happiness and Fight Depression (provided by The Active Times)

15 Foods That Boost Happiness and Fight Depression: <p>Your diet has a tremendous effect on <a href=your overall health and wellbeing; especially now during the winter months, when the winter blues is hovering and the likelihood for depression is on the rise.

What do you do when you’re stressed out and feeling down? Do you raid your refrigerator and snack on everything in sight? If so, don’t be embarrassed, you’re not alone. According to research by Harvard Health Publications, stress causes the adrenal glands to release cortisol – a hormone that increases appetite and may ramp up the motivation to eat.

Prevent yourself from eating unhealthy foods like potato chips and sweets by stocking your fridge with healthy foods that help boost happiness and fight depression.

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We Need To Teach Kids How To Look After Their Mental Health .
We've never been taught to put our mental health first in the same way we've been taught to look after and listen to our bodies. This is simply ludicrous and irresponsible. As you're growing up, you're taught to try and reduce the risk of getting sick.&nbsp;Everyone at some point in their childhood will face mentally challenging moments, from bullying to low self-esteem, and yet our societal response to those issues is to help the subjects after the fact, rather than give them the tools that could help lower the negative impact on their mental wellbeing.

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