It’s normal for a child to act grumpy, be in a bad mood, and sometimes feel sad. However, when these feelings, moods, or other behavioral changes last a week or longer, there is a high chance that it might be depression.
Depression in your child is not a rare thing; in fact, approximately 12.8% of US adolescents have at least one major episode of depression.
If your child has depression signs, you probably are scared and feel helpless. The good news is that there are some ways in which you can help your child. Let’s talk about 6 easy tips you can follow to help your child deal with depression and where you can go in Palm Harbor, Trinity, Westchase, and Lutz, FL, for outstanding pediatric care.
Tip#1 Understand That Depression is a Disease
In order to help your child cope with depression, first of all, you need to understand that clinical depression is a disease. This will help you in two ways. First, you will not blame yourself or your child for your child’s symptoms. Second, you will not consider depression a choice your child is making and will not tell your child anything thoughtless like, “what do you have to be depressed about?” and “why don’t you pull yourself together?”.
Tip #2 Get Help from a Pediatrician
If you think your child’s sad or bad mood goes on for a few weeks, let your child’s doctor (pediatrician) know immediately. Also, tell the pediatrician if you have noticed any changes in your child’s eating, sleep, efforts, and energy. The pediatrician will do a full exam and check for the health issues that could cause your child’s symptoms. They will also check for depression and refer your child to a therapist if needed.
Tip #3 Be Kind and Patient
Supportive parents are critical for a child suffering from anxiety and depression. So, when your child acts difficult, don’t freak out. Instead, try to stay patient, connect with your child calmly, and guide them to better their behavior.
You can also talk to your child’s doctors about how to respond when the child acts moody or difficult.
Tip #4 Help Them Identify Coping Skills
One of the best things you can do as a parent is to help your child learn how to deal with their emotions healthily. You can model coping skills at home and engage your child in these skills.
For example, engaging them in activities such as using a stress ball, deep breathing, making art, or going for a walk can help them cope with depressive feelings.
Tip #5 Keep Communication Open
You must keep communication open so your child knows they can approach you with any issues and will listen to you.
Simply letting them know that you are always there for them and will listen to them without judging them can increase the likelihood that they will come to you for their problems.
#6 Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle
It’s no denying that physical and mental health are closely connected. Also, a healthy lifestyle can help manage the symptoms of depression better. So, create a healthy routine for your child and inspire them to exercise regularly, eat healthy meals, and sleep regularly.
Remember to motivate your child to adopt a healthy lifestyle, not force them.
Children Mental Health Near Me in Palm Harbor, Trinity, Westchase, and Lutz, Florida
If you think your child is having symptoms of depression, visit us at Children’s Medical Center for caring and compassionate support. We have a team of pediatricians, including developmental pediatricians, who can provide medical and psychological care to their patients. Our pediatricians may also refer your child to mental health specialists if needed.
To learn more about our services, contact us at a location near you in Palm Harbor, Trinity, Lutz, and Westchase. You can also schedule a consultation with one of our pediatricians using our secure online appointment request form.