Depression can happen to kids too.
While we’re not suggesting for a moment that all children who wet the bed will suffer from depression, it’s acknowledged that one of the triggers of childhood depression can be a low self esteem or low self worth. Low self esteem can be a by product of a child who wets the bed. All parents should be aware of the signs of depression in their children so that they can step in and take positive action if required.
All kids go through the trials and tribulations of growing up. It’s likely that kids will have low days and times where they feel at a bit of a loss. However the signal that your child may be suffering from depression is when their mood and feelings interfere with their normal activities and life.
Who is at risk of depression?
- Children who are going through a stressful time (HSC or final year exams).
- Children who may have suffered the loss of a family member, friend or pet.
- Children with low self esteem.
- Children with a family history of depression.
- Children who are struggling at school.
- Children who have suffered abuse.
What are the signs of depression?
Parents can use this list as a guide for behaviours to monitor. It is by no means exhaustive, and depression can manifest itself in many different ways. If you are concerned about your child in one or more of these areas, seek some advice from your local doctor.
- If your child changes their behaviour from being outgoing to reclusive.
- If their results at school change dramatically.
- If they always appear lethargic.
- If they have minor complaints such as headaches etc as a reason to avoid going to school.
- If they have no interest in continuing friendships.
- If they have a severe loss of appetite or they eat for comfort and gain weight rapidly.
- If they exhibit negative behaviours.
- If they remove themselves from family life.
- If they talk about hurting themselves or wishing that they were dead.
- If your child begins to use alcohol or drugs as a way of “coping”.
Depression is treatable and help can be found from your local doctor.
There are a number of support lines available in the community if you need some immediate assistance.
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Suicide Helpline Victoria 1300 651 251
- NSW Rural Mental Health Support Line 1800 201 123
- Parentline (QLD and NT)1300 30 1300
- Kids Help Line free call 1800 55 1800