Depression in Children: Angels in Trouble
We say innocence is untouched by worry, it does not know concern. It is hidden from the world’s troubles, protected by the calm. However, is that true for kids today?
Statistics show that 1 in 13 kids suffers from depression in the United States of America. A news clipping from the Times of India (April 2015) recently had Dr. Shah mentioning:
"Children as young as six are suffering from depression. These problems are manifested in various forms ranging from academic performance to suicidal thoughts."
The race towards success and over-achievement has affected not only workaholics and corporate, but also parents and teachers. The enormous pressure of doing well academically, ‘fitting in’ with friends, knowing enough, and keeping up with the world of grown ups without actually growing up has its consequences.
We cannot deny that the shadow of depression has crept into the lives of our angels already, but we can most definitely be prepared to know the signs of its existence. Some can be very visually suggestive/indicative –
- Mood swings
- Change in sleep and diet pattern
- Social withdrawal
- Lack of sleep and poor concentration levels
- Extreme emotional outbursts
- Inactivity and physical health complaints
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and suicide
These symptoms do not occur in a day or a pattern. Constant monitoring of a child’s behavior is a bare necessity for the parent today – If you do not know the normal, you can never understand what is ‘abnormal’. Parental neglect, poor upbringing, and changes in family and lifestyle have been reported as some of the root causes for this issue. Some children battle this troubled state of mind throughout their teens, as seeds once sown rarely do not bloom. They tend to be more aggressive in nature, difficult to communicate with, and are often labeled as violent and aloof.
The one notion that helps in such troubled times is ‘awareness’. The damage is mostly never permanent and a lot can be recovered from therapy and medication. Cognitive and Family therapy have proven to be extremely helpful in such cases. Understanding your child and their limitations is key to a happy and carefree childhood – give them the gift of ‘time’, pay attention to their needs, and you will have beaten depression for good!
Mapmygenome can help prevent/assuage depression in your child
Mapmygenome offers great products to help prevent/assuage stress in children:
- WebNeuro™ Focus: This is a 30-minute online test for children that can identify feelings — stress, depression, and anxiety; self-regulation potential — emotional resilience, negativity bias, and social skills; thinking skills and learning difficulties. Use this test to improve your child’s performance while ensuring emotional wellbeing.
- MyCalmBeat™: A paced-breathing tool to improve heart rate variability, which can help in reducing stress, optimizing focus, and improving health.
- BrainMap™: Gain insights into your child’s genetic predisposition to depression and resilience gene.
About the Author
Dr. Pallavi Jain is part of the Scientific Team at Mapmygenome. She has a Bachelors Degree in Biochemistry with Genetics and a PhD in Molecular Medicine (UK). She recently completed an intensive course in IVF from Origio, Mumbai. She enjoys swimming and reading.