Kids today deal with more stressful times than generations before. Inability to handle stress of modern fast paced lifestyle, lack of family support, more gadget time reduced physical activity, less sunshine and unbridled exposure to social media makes kids vulnerable to depression. Depression in kids and teens even though pandemic is not a lifelong phenomenon if treated with right help.
What can save today’s kids from depression. Let’s analyze their need, what do they want, how to instill a sense of confidence and give them an emotional stability that each one of them is special in their own way. Don’t kill yourself in mindless emulation of others. Emotional stability and a nutritious diet plays a key role.
Depression in kids is initially masked as normal emotional outbursts or psychological changes, only when the sadness persist and starts affecting their normal activities, it is diagnosed as depression.
Depressed or sad look
A primary symptom of depression revolves round sadness, mood swings and constant irritability. When a child is extremely sad all the time feels hopeless, it is the red flag for depression.
Lack of Interest in Activities
Strong apathy or lack of interest in activities they use to like earlier, outdoor activities , sports and hobbies. Forgetfulness of books and notebooks, severe attention deficit, inability to cope up with daily chores.
Sudden loss or gain in weight
Sudden change in diet pattern or loss of appetite is a sign of depression. Either kids gain expected weight or are incapable of expected growth pattern.
Extreme Sleepiness or difficulty falling asleep
A clear fallout of depression is difficulty falling asleep or broken sleep. Less sleep can sap your attention span and short-term memory.
Another obvious sign of depression is reflected by unconscious, purposeless gestures like inability to sit in a place for long, biting nails or hand wriggling and other emotional outbursts like shouting and crying at the drop of a hat.
Fatigue makes it difficult to focus even with less distractions around. Fatigue saps the energy and adversely affects memory retention.
Depressed children are low on self-steam. They like to be alone spending time away from parents and friends.
Feeling guilty is a negative emotion. A strong feeling of worthlessness or inadequacy grips depressed children. Self-reproach is demeaning to the confidence of the child and can be heavily delusional.
Depression diminishes their ability.
A major fallout of depression is lack of focus or concentration which impairs their ability to think clearly. This results in falling grades in school, problem in interpersonal skills, getting in trouble with everyone.
Everything around us today can be a concentration killer, like screen time, gadget time of the children or social media. It is very tempting to keep connecting with friends and checking updates while studying but it plays havoc on the concentration. Every ping on the mobile kills the steady trail of focus and disconnect from work.
· Loss of parents
· Impaired relationship of parents
· Attention deficit in children.
· Low social status
· Excessive demand at school
· Learning disorders
A holistic treatment of depression focuses on both mind and body and is done through balanced diet, yoga, proper sleep, tapping the creative skills, outdoor activities and psychotherapy facilitates a speedy recovery of depression.
Psychotherapy – Parents have a key role to play in eliminating the stress factors in the child and in boosting their self-confidence. Be sensitive to their needs and not to force and impose their desire. Psychotherapy checks the negative thought pattern by focusing on positive activities. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) are common psychotherapy treatment.
Loved ones play a key role kids don’t need mobile and a credit card they need their parents time and emotional support. Invest and spend quality time with the child. Wake up there is problem at hand, do not camouflage it with money and video games.
A healthy diet for depression:
Eating a healthy diet is the first recipe to treat depression. Never skip your breakfast, have a power packed breakfast with high protein (nuts cheese, milk), complex carbs like whole grains, fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables. Sugary food initially boosts the mood but after few hours plummets the energy level. Junk food is strict no to kids with depression. Curb binge eating.
Food has a very positive impact on depression. In Fact a handful of cashew acts like one tablet of Prozac (generally prescribed as anti-depressant). Vitamins and nutrients like Omega-3, vitamin B12 boosts the mental health.
Depression and insomnia is correlated. Insufficient sleep would always lead to poor focus and tired mind. It is important that kids are exposed to outdoor activities and relax their mind to fall in healthy sleep pattern.
Yoga and exercise:
Yoga syncs the mind, body and soul bringing an emotional stability through pranayam (breathing technique). Physical activity of any intensity is proven to uplift mood and checks bouts of depression. Outdoor activity helps children open up and mix with peers and helps alleviate depressive symptoms.
The medical benefits of meditation is well documented in treating the mind and a host of other benefits. A guided meditation for children calms their mind.
Let children tap their latent potency in creative skills like drawing, painting, art, poem and other creative art forms. Creative ideas gives their mind a very positive vent converting their negative energy into positive thoughts.
Register today at JKYNH, Odisha for free consultation and yoga and meditation classes for kids.