Psychology 101: Signs Your Child May Be Dealing With Depression

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When you are a parent, and you have no qualms about doing everything for your kids, it is essential to start learning about child psychology before they even enter this world.

I can clearly remember a story about a mother who has had children during her late 30s. All of her attention right after having a daughter was on making sure that the kid was well-provided. Meaning to say, any material object that the child ever asked for, they would buy it at once. The mom worked as hard as the dad until the second baby – a son – came, and they also pampered this kid, thinking that it would make the entire family happy.

Ten years later, the same mother is now crying out of desperation because the eldest child only talks to her and everyone else when she wants something. Otherwise, the daughter would stay locked in her room, unwilling to even mingle with her brother or dad. It has come to a point where the parents have resorted to paying the child so that she will dine with them or stay in the living room with everyone. This is when the mom starts to say, “I have given my daughter everything she can ever ask for. Why does she act like this?”

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Depression In Kids

Well, one thing that a lot of older parents may have no idea about is the fact that: 1) depression is real, and 2) it manifests even in children as young as three years old. This reality indicates that it is not impossible for kids above that age to get depressed as well. And, no, this condition is not a mere fad that your child may pick up at school; the illness is ingrained in their system.

If you allow your kids to keep on behaving weirdly and chalk everything up to growing up, you may lose the chance to help them feel better. A proper diagnosis remains vital before you can conclude that your child has depression, but here are a few signs that may point to it.

1. Self-Isolation

Like the child mentioned above, depressed individuals tend to stay away from people as much as they can. Some do that to avoid getting asked about their actions and risk revealing their deep-seated problems. Others, meanwhile, refuse to be around people who they blame for their depression.

If your kid rarely wants to leave his or her bedroom even when it is time to eat for weeks now, that is a huge indication that he or she may be dealing with a psychological issue. You should then try to figure out what troubles your child the most and fix that. In case he or she does not want to talk to you, you can ask their best friend or another close relative to coax them to come out or at least speak up.

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2. Sleeplessness

Playing negative thoughts in the head over and over is enough to keep a depressed person awake at night, and kids who live with depression are not exempted to it. Similar to adults, they tend to lay in bed and entertain every vague idea that comes to mind. Some may try to distract themselves by watching YouTube videos or playing games, but they still end up having little to no sleep every time.

Considering you have a depressed child at home, you should take note if he or she has dark circles around the eyes. Kids, in general, have supple skin, so it will not be easy for them to develop eyebags. However, if the child has been sleepless for days, you can see shadows under his or her eyes. Hence, in hopes of remedying the problem, you should try to encourage your kid to follow a bedtime routine and leave electronic gadgets out of the bedroom.

3. Self-Harming Tendencies

Self-harming is infamously done by individuals who suffer from minor to severe form of depression. The reason is not always because they want to die. At times, some people cut themselves because they think that the pain coming from it is the only way for them not to get bothered by the voices in their head.

One sign that your kid may be depressed is if you see cuts on her arms, wrists or legs. A few troubled children tend to cover them up with a handkerchief, which makes it even more conspicuous. Another way to realize that your child may be entertaining self-harming thoughts is when you find a blade in her bag or wallet.

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Final Thoughts

Any kid is too precious to lose over depression. Assuming that you know your child behaves more differently than his or her peers, you should not take that for granted. Bring him or her to a psychologist at once to prevent the mental health condition for making your kid’s life miserable.

2016 Alaska Childrens Health Month: Improve Your Kid’s Health

As a parent, it is essential on your part to focus on improving your child’s health. Keep in mind that when we speak of health, it does not only refer to physical wellness but also mental stability. As much as possible, continue to encourage your children to value their health above all else. You need to start them young so that they can get used to it and eventually master the entire process. During the 2016 Alaska childrens health month, one of the keynote speakers emphasized that each parent plays a vital role in helping their kids grow to become responsible members of society.

 

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In this article, allow us to provide you with a list of the things that you can do to make all these happen:

 

Talk To Your Child

 

Make sure that you establish a good connection or relationship with your child so that he will feel comfortable to open up to you. Do not hesitate to observe the way your kid acts to ensure that you can quickly identify if something is wrong.

 

Cook Healthy Meals

 

As much as possible, avoid buying fast food items for your kids. Keep in mind that it is always a good idea to prepare your own food choices. In so doing, everyone in your family can begin to follow a healthy lifestyle. As such, it is best if you will start to plan meals for a given week so that you can save more time.

 

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Consult A Doctor

 

Keep in mind that medical consultation is essential for kids. As such, it is ideal for you to bring in your kid to his pediatrician regularly. It is an excellent way of finding out whether or not your child is in good shape. The said doctor can also prescribe medicines or potential treatments for your child.

 

 

2015 Palmdale Children’s Health Events: Importance Of Physical Activity

The 2015 Palmdale Children’s Health Events focuses on child development. There’s a discussion on how early learning benefits mental, emotional, and behavioral health. But what caught the attention of most parents is the importance of physical activity and how it provides benefits in the overall aspect of children’s growth.

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In the event, specialists explained that kids who meet the full activity recommendation within the 24 hours show progress in the cognitive area, brain function, as well as mental health. Physically active children prove to show better performance in areas of reading, math, science, and social studies. Aside from that, physical activities in children also promote focus, attention, and concentration. Compared to other children who always spend time inside their home, kids who love physical activities tend to think creatively. Also, most of them are usually problem solvers.

Some studies show that physically active kids have larger brains compared to those children who don’t expose themselves to any physical activities. That’s especially to significant areas of the brain related to higher level thinking, memory, and emotion.

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Better Mental Health

Physically active children have fewer depressive symptoms or feeling of anxiety. Overall, these kids feel happy and fulfilled. That’s because physical activities are associated with better resiliency and lower stress levels. Aside from that, self-concept, self-esteem, and self-worth get improved as well through engaging in different tasks.

With the help of physical activities, children can also boost their social strength. They can engage in a particular task with different kids and learn from them as well. The connection helps in building great communication, empathy, and social contribution. There’s the experience of knowing things based on their judgment and perception.

It is essential to know that kids’ development is a crucial stage. That’s why we need to make sure that they get the right amount of brain and body development they need.

Ways Of Keeping Your Unborn Baby Healthy

 

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Birth abnormalities can affect a newborn’s appearance, brain, and bodily functions, or both. Per statistics, one in 33 babies is conceived with a congenital disability. Some of these are obvious, like cleft palate or cleft lip. Others need to be diagnosed and tested for more confirmation and clarity. For instance, heart defects. The parents and the family are sometimes the last to know about these defects because they are not educated about prenatal care.

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When Your Kids Ask About Suicide

 

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It is natural for parents and other adult family members to protect the little ones from the dark actualities about life. That is why it is troubling for them to talk about suicide to kids. But what if they ask about it? Would you spare them the knowledge about a reality that has gotten so common these days? It would seem that while we are protecting them, we are ripping away their chances of healing as well.

 

Many parents (including me, honestly) are hesitant to talk about a suicide in the family to their children perhaps because of embarrassment, fear, or confusion. However, when children hear adults discussing this sensitive issue, without a doubt they will form their own version of what happened, which leads to more dangerous outcomes in the long run. It is important, therefore, that information about death by suicide or other tragic causes should be conveyed to them in a manner that is suitable for their age.

 

Simplifying The Explanations

 

To start off, it would be inappropriate to use the phrase ‘committed suicide’ as it may sound like a crime was done and it was successful (giving a negative implication that it can be done even if it is wrong). You can use the phrase ‘died by suicide’ instead.

 

For the younger children, you may need to provide a clearer description, such as:

 

“Dying means that the body isn’t working any longer, and nothing can fix it. Some people are just so hurt and so sad that they think the only way to get rid of their sadness is for their body to stop working. Some people also die this way because they have a sickness that comes from their brain. When the brain is sick, they may feel very hopeless.”

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Encouraging Questions

Do not forbid your children to ask questions. You will thank yourself in the end for letting them speak their mind. Answer them as simply as you can, with an encouraging note, like:

 

“I know you must be confused or maybe wondering what or why it happened. I may not be able to let you understand fully, but you can always come to me and tell me how you feel. We can talk about it more. Or you can ask other adults about this.”

 

Be as truthful as possible without giving out the horrid specifics. If they ask how it happened, you can tell them that ‘he took pills that were not good for his body. That’s why he was hurt and his body didn’t work anymore.”

 

Supporting Them With Your Time and Presence

 

Sometimes, children blame themselves for the death of their loved one, and it is crucial that you help them get rid of this disturbing thought. Remind them that there are many reasons why people die from suicide, but none of these reasons involve them. Also, do not attempt to take away their sadness but instead listen to them and allow them to share how they really feel. This way they will overcome the process of grieving appropriately.

 

Helping Them Learn Through Modeling

 

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Children mimic the ways of adults. Grieve healthily by showing sadness appropriately, which is through crying and sharing your emotions with others, not through violent reactions. Talk to them and let them see how you feel so that they too will realize that showing one’s emotions is a very effective way of healing. Show them how to acknowledge grief. Let them know that there are nourishing ways to recover, that they are not alone, and that they are loved.

 

5 Ways To Promote Mental Wellness In Kids

The things that children bond over tend to change with time. During pre-school, everything is about toy trucks or doll houses. When they move past the age of nine or ten, that is when they become aware of the opposite sex and gush over crushes and famous celebrities. Once they reach adolescence, you can expect these not-so-little kids to mostly talk about sports, prom, and clubs.

A current trend that worries most adults, though, is the early introduction of some kids to self-harming, addiction, and suicide. Many of them cause damage to themselves because they do not know how to deal with the stress that comes with studying, being a son or daughter, or maintaining friendships. The others try cutting into their flesh merely because their classmates do the same, and it is their way of fitting in.

 

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How can we rely on these children to make the world a greater place when they are already psychologically unstable at a young age?

If you wish to save your kids from this scary progression of events, you should promote mental wellness at home as early as today.

 

Be Open With Your Children

Regardless of how tight your schedule is at work, you should never let a day pass without seeing or speaking to your kids. You want them to know what you are doing with your life, and vice versa. If they have problems, they should be able to run to you for help or advice. Otherwise, they might try to resolve their issues using harmful methods, e.g., drug abuse, sex, etc.

 

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Nurture The Kids

The children who feel neglected by their parents and have had to depend on themselves early want to escape the reality by getting high on illegal substance or self-harming. The ones who receive proper nutrition and support from their family, however, are less likely to have mental instability. They are aware of how great life is and will not want to do something that can ruin that.

 

Explain Situations

Some kids cause trouble as well because they have deep questions that the adults refuse to answer. For instance, “Why are mommy and daddy not together?’ “Why does my friend have a new schoolbag, but I have to use a hand-me-down?” Stop assuming that they are too young to understand things like divorce and poverty since children these days are smarter than you think. If only you explain your family’s situation to them, they may know how to act better.

 

Acknowledge Behavioral Changes

When you notice that your kid’s behavior is taking an ugly turn, you should not take it as a mere phase that all children experience. A cheerful child does not become moody or develop a habit of talking back for no reason. There is typically an incident that caused the change, and you have to acknowledge that before their behavioral transformation worsens.

 

Go Out As A Family

Finally, make sure to get together as a family at least once a week. You can watch movies on Netflix at home or hang out at amusement parks during the weekends. It matters for children to see that their parents have time to be with them. Should they need emotional support in the future, they won’t have to look elsewhere for people who can offer it.

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Do not wait for an irreversible incident to occur in your kids’ lives before you invest in their psychological well-being. Promote mental wellness at home now. Good luck!

 

 

Watch Out! Emotions Gone Haywire Are Common During Pregnancy

 

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Magazine photos and Internet images often picture pregnant women smiling, rosy-cheeked, and glowing as they pat their bellies with such TLC it’s palpable even to viewers outside the screen. These imageries often lead us to believe pregnancy is something borne out of fairy tales with happy endings.  In reality, it’s not. In fact, emotions going out of control are commonplace during gestation. When you’re expecting, you’re undoubtedly in for one emotional rollercoaster ride.  Continue reading