This month’s issue of the Liahona features several articles that center around the topic of mental health and emotional wellness. One of them specifically addresses how to help your children if they appear to be showing signs of depression. Below is an excerpt. Read the full article HERE.
Everyone feels sad or discouraged at times. As a parent, you may see changes in your child’s behavior without fully understanding the reason why. Here are some things to watch for and ways to help your child.
Spotting Potential Concerns
If your child is more angry or sad for more than two weeks, you may wonder if he or she is experiencing depression. Depression may look different for children and youth than it does for adults. When your child is feeling down or depressed, symptoms may include:
Significant changes in behavior.
Grades in school drastically dropping, like going from A’s to F’s.
Changes in friend groups, often moving to friends who are not positive.
Loss of interest in activities.
Changes in sleeping habits, including too much or too little sleep.
Not caring about the future.
Complaining of aches and pains with no physical source.
Comments or thoughts about death or suicide.
Changes in eating.
When a child becomes depressed, parents may feel like it’s their fault or that they’ve done something wrong. Remember that depression doesn’t always start because of what someone did, and it can’t be stopped by telling the child to stop feeling depressed. Depression in children often comes from feeling overwhelmed. As a parent, do your best to remain calm and focus on listening and validating. You can emotionally coach your child and patiently guide him or her to develop coping skills to help manage strong emotions.
How to Help Your Child
Read the full article HERE.