Recognize the Symptoms of Depression in Children Early on

Recognize the Symptoms of Depression in Children Early on

written by : Makuku Family - 28 Jan 2022

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Depression can be experienced by anyone, from children to adults. Maybe many think that children can't have mental problems. Even at the age of toddlers, depression can occur.

According to a psychologist at St. Carolus, Sulastry Pardede, M.Psi., about 5% of children and adolescents in Indonesia experience depression. "Children under stress, while studying at school, are at a higher risk for depression. Depression also tends to run in the family itself," explains Sulastry.

Sulastry also explained that depression is an emotion or natural feeling disorder accompanied by a psychological component and a somatic component. Psychological components include feelings of depression, sadness, hopelessness, a sense of accomplishment and unhappiness. While somatic components such as constipation, anorexia, moist skin or feeling cold, pulse and blood pressure decreased.

Depressed behavior in children and adolescents may appear different from depressed behavior in adults. A child who used to often play with friends then was alone without any clear interests and shut himself up. Things like this should make parents aware of abnormal habits and should be suspected of having a depressive disorder. 

"Depression can make children lose interest in gathering with friends, chatting with family. Because when they are depressed they don't want to be involved anymore and communication becomes very minimal," said Sulastry. 

For this reason, parents must know what symptoms of depression occur in their children. Common symptoms of depression in children can be detected from physical symptoms and mental symptoms. 

Physical symptoms

  • Frequent abdominal pain.
  • Frequent headaches.
  • You don't gain weight or look thinner.
  • Decreased appetite or even increasing rapidly.
  • Looks tired and has trouble sleeping.

Mental Symptoms

  • Become easily angry, especially if he is criticized.
  • Feeling sad or even hopeless.
  • Unwilling or unable to complete schoolwork.
  • Frequent lying
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities previously enjoyed.
  • Prefers to be alone and is reluctant to interact or socialize with peers and family.
  • It's hard to concentrate.
  • Having thoughts of hurting yourself.
  • Feeling very guilty and feeling worthless
  • Often looks restless or anxious.

When is the right time to take your child to a psychiatrist?

Many children and young people have problems that affect their feelings, actions or learning. The ups and downs of children's emotions are actually natural. But Sulastry said the time was right to take the children to a psychiatrist when the children began to exhibit abnormal behavior as usual.

"When children no longer want to gather with their families, for example, they are invited to eat together. Even children who injure themselves or others should be wary of," said Sulastry.

In addition, the existence of abnormal desires such as being alone, withdrawing from everyday relationships, losing weight or gaining weight, or what most often appears today in teenagers is the urge to self-harm for reasons of boredom in life. If these signs are shown by children, Sulastry recommends that children immediately seek professional help such as psychologists or psychiatrists.

Well, for moms and dads who want to know more information about parenting, you can follow Instagram @makuku.indonesia.official and visit the makuku.co.id website. (Aq/MKK)

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