Arshia’s mother noticed that her eight-year-old daughter had been uncharacteristically grumpy and irritable. She was barely eating or playing and spent most of the day lying down or sleeping.
Usually outgoing and talkative by nature, her mother observed that Arshia had started to isolate herself from friends at school and had stopped taking interest in her studies.
Her mother’s initial thought was that Arshia was going through a phase as children do. And would grow out of it. However, when her grades and her weight continued to fall. She became concerned and approached me through a common friend. After meeting her, it was quite clear that Arshia was suffering from serious depression.
Her parents were shocked by the to calm their anxiety, I informed them that nowadays. even children as young as five are depressed. The causes are never the same and identifying the trigger factors involves hours of patience and parent counseling. In Arshia’s case, I realized that since her mother had resumed working, she was feeling neglected and uncared for. Once
This was communicated to her parents; Arshia’s depression began showing signs of improvement almost immediately. In my practice I have learnt that the causes of depression among children can sometimes be far more serious than just a lack of parental attention. Children who come from broken or disturbed families are the most likely to fall prey to depression; other contributing factors include bullying.
The death of a loved one, separation anxiety as well as child abuse. It is imperative that both parents observe the behavior and moods of their t–3 children very closely and keep tabs on their progress and attitude in school. Classic signs include violent outbursts, eating too much or too little, rapid weight changes and fluctuating sleep patterns.
Parents must realize that consulting a psychologist is not something to be ashamed of and psychological help should be sought in a timely manner as it increases the chances of early diagnosis and effective treatment.
By Sabin Jawed. The writer is a psychologist.