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Parents facing childhood depression

Parents facing childhood depression


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Depression not only affects adults, children can also suffer from depression, however, it is important not to confuse the sadness that a child may feel with a depressive process. Depression in childhood is accompanied in addition to sadness by a series of symptoms such as sudden mood swings, tantrums from any cause or high level of anxiety.

The psychologist Silvia Álava tells us how parents can detect if their child has depression, what they can do if they suspect that the child may be depressed or when to take them to the psychologist.

1. How can parents tell if a child has depression? How is childhood depression diagnosed?

To diagnose childhood depression it is going to be essential, first of all, meet with the parents. The first thing that is done is an in-depth interview with the parents in which we are asking them all the data of that child, all the data to have the enamnesis, the medical history.

What's more, We ask parents to make a record of behavior, that is, any situation that concerns their child. Ideally, the psychologist would go and see him on the spot, but there comes a time when that is very complicated because a psychologist cannot be at home every hour, at school every hour, in the park with friends, and also the figure of the psychologist would interfere a lot in the behavior of that child.

We give the parents some records, which consist of columns, in the first one we put the day and time, the next column they have to fill in is, what is the situation, where is the child, who is he and what is he? doing, what the child does or says and what the parents tell him, or other children or other adults who are there answer him.

Through these records it will be very useful for psychologists to know what may be happening to the child, to establish a correct diagnosis and what is more important, to give guidelines to the parents of action, to know what is what is happening. When the children are a little older, you also interview the child and talk to him.

2. What can parents do if they suspect that their children are depressed?

It is important when parents suspect that the child is depressed, first of all that they stop to observe him well. The first of all is to stop and observe, because if we are very clear about the situations in which it is happening, it will help us very well to then be able to intervene, and be able to assess whether it is a specific situation, whether it is a child's thought, if it is a behavior. To be able to intervene based on that.

3. When do parents have to take a depressed child to the psychologist?

As soon as they see that there is poor performance, that the child is constantly bored, that he is not entertained, that he is tired, that he has lost weight, that he is more isolated, more irritable, as soon as we see any of these symptoms, it is good that They can come and ask for help.

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