Kids Sometimes Need Depression Treatment, Too

As adults, we often forget that kids are under tremendous pressure these days. The childhood we remember has vanished. A few generations ago, life was undeniably “simpler”; unfortunately for our youth, that era has long since passed. Thus, someone you love who is under the age of 18 may need depression treatment sometime during his or her growing years.

It’s shocking to many to realize that a large number of kids as young as elementary school age have been diagnosed with depression and are therefore seeking depression treatment. At first, parents, coaches, counselors, educators, and clergy may not recognize any depression symptoms, as depression in children isn’t something about which many adults immediately worry.

In youths, as in their adult counterparts, depression symptoms tend to manifest themselves both physically and emotionally. A child in need of depression treatment may become lethargic and withdrawn, whereas once he or she was full of life. Or the “early bird” teen may take to sleeping in until 3:00 p.m. every weekend and holiday, practically unable to get out of bed, even to eat. Ironically, teachers and parents may assume that depression treatment isn’t needed, chalking a preteen’s moods swings and verbal battles to hormonal changes and the natural need to separate from one’s “authority figures.”

Though these depression symptoms can also be commonplace occurrences during adolescence (and in the years just before), they still need to be thoroughly investigated and not simply “written off.” If a child is in need of depression treatment, it’s essential that he or she get appropriate help before the symptoms of depression skyrocket out of control. (Unfortunately, many teen and preteen suicides can be traced back to untreated depression.)

If a young person in your life seems “not him” lately, take note and don’t ignore any warning signals, because they may benefit from depression treatment. (In fact, you may save their life by early diagnosis and depression treatment.) And though counseling with a mental health professional will usually be part of the depression treatment picture, the treatment itself doesn’t necessarily have to include antidepressant medications, depending upon the severity and type of depression symptoms.

Research has shown that some clinically depressed patients, including children, respond well to non-drug depression treatments (under the watchful eye of a physician and/or counselor as well as caring parents or guardians.) Such depression treatments include introduction of higher-than-average (but not toxically so) doses of B vitamins such as B12, B6, and folic acid; vitamin D; and garlic. Another excellent depression treatment that is completely holistic (and healthy, to boot!) is exercise (though not over-exercise), especially outdoors in sunlight. (Playing outside may be a terrific depression treatment, and absolutely has other physical benefits, too.)

Remember – if your child has depression and requires depression treatment, it’s not their fault, it’s not your fault, and the condition IS treatable. Perhaps a simple dietary change or exercise adjustment will make a huge difference in how your youngster feels about himself and the world in general.