If you’ve noticed a marked change in your child’s behavior or mood that lasts more than just a few days, then you may be questioning whether or not they are depressed. With children, unexpected outbursts and periods of being upset are expected as they are growing and learning to adapt to handle trying situations.
However, it is possible that your child’s upset mood and growing attitude are symptoms of clinical depression that should not be brushed off. Below, are three things you should do if you believe that your child is suffering from clinical depression.
Ask Them Questions
The first thing you should do is ask them some questions. You should never put them into the back of the car and drive them to a psychiatrist’s office without any discussion.
You want to ask them why they think they’ve been irritable or why they no longer want to see their friends or participate in their favorite past time. If they can’t really pinpoint why they’ve been behaving in such unusual ways, then you should gently suggest that they see a doctor to start feeling better.
Get a Proper Diagnosis
The next thing you should do is seek out child and adolescent psychiatric care san antonio professionals that have experience in diagnosing children and adolescents. Depression often manifests differently in children, so diagnosis requires a doctor that specializes in dealing with childhood mental illness.
Devise a Treatment Plan
After your child is properly diagnosed, you and the doctor should work collaboratively with your child to devise a treatment plan that they are comfortable with. This includes proposing lifestyle changes without making them feel forced to do something – children never respond well when they feel they are being told what to do.
It can be hard to come to terms with the idea that your child may be depressed, but don’t worry or feel guilty. Instead, ask them questions about how they are feeling, seek a formal diagnosis, and include them when devising a treatment plan.