Teenagers today deal with more stressful times than the earlier generations. Inability to handle stress of the modern fast paced lifestyle, lack of family support, more gadget time and reduced physical activity, less sunshine and unbridled exposure to social media has made kids vulnerable to depression. Depression in kids and teens even though a pandemic is not a lifelong phenomenon, it can be treated with appropriate help and support.
Let us first analyze their needs and what they want. It is important to instill a sense of confidence and emotional stability in them. Treating them as individuals and not ones property. By gently making them aware that each one of them is special in their own way. Don’t kill yourself in mindless emulation of others. Emotional stability and nutritious diet play a key role in developing a happy and healthy kid.
Depression in teens is initially masked as normal emotional outbursts or psychological changes. Only when the sadness persists and starts affecting their normal activities, it is diagnosed as depression.
A primary symptom of depression revolves around sadness, mood swings and constant irritability. When a child is extremely sad all the time, feels hopeless, it is the red flag for depression.
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 change in diet pattern or loss of appetite is a sign of depression. Either kids gain unexpected weight or suddenly deviate from the expected growth pattern.
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 left alone spending time away from parents and friends.
Feeling guilty is a negative emotion. A strong feeling of worthlessness or inadequacy sometimes grips children. Self-reproach is demeaning to the confidence of the child and can be heavily delusional.
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 is like a concentration killer for a child; screen time, gadget time 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.
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. These natural remedies can facilitate a speedy recovery.
Watch out for next article on ‘How to combat depression’.
DISCLAIMER – Jagadguru Kripalu Yoga and Naturopathy Hospital does not provide any treatment for Psychological diseases. This article is for information purposes only.
Contact Jagadguru Kripalu Yoga and Naturopathy Hospital for lifestyle consultation.
by Pragya Sinha