- Is your child persistently sad, moody or irritable?
- Does your child have a “victim mentality” and a negative view of the world?
- Is your child easily frustrated, agitated and/or quick to give up?
- Does your child have low self-esteem, struggle in peer relationships or have difficulty overcoming setbacks?
- Do you wish you knew how to motivate your child and help him or her see things more positively?
Trying to help your child maintain a positive attitude and/or participate in activities enjoyed by other children his or her age can be a frustrating experience. Your attempts to motivate your child and to help him or her see things positively may be met with resistance and may even lead to power struggles. It can be challenging to help your child handle disappointments and stress and to work through problems, especially if he or she takes feedback as a personal attack. It’s common for parents in situations like these to wonder if their child is going through a phase or if symptoms, such as persistent crying, irritability, change in sleep and/or eating patterns and low motivation, may be indicative that something deeper, such as depression, is taking place.
Determining Whether Your Child Needs Depression Counseling
Just like adults, children get down from time to time. Issues such as rejection from peers, challenges at school, or fights with siblings can cause irritability and even brief withdrawal from friends and family. However, if your child is not bouncing back from challenges within a reasonable amount of time, you may have cause for concern. While childhood depression can be difficult for parents to determine, if your child is suffering from the following symptoms for two full weeks or more, a child psychologist can provide you with insight and relief. We encourage you to schedule a consultation if your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- No longer participating in activities that he or she used to enjoy
- Frequently sad and/or irritable
- Very low self-esteem
- Noticeable changes in eating and/or sleeping patterns
- Persistent pessimistic thoughts
- Unrealistic, negative view of him or herself.
Our Child Depression Counseling Experts Provide Guidance, Support And Relief
Our experienced child psychologists draw from age-appropriate approaches, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), mindfulness exercises, and play therapy for younger children to treat child depression. Your Orenstein Solutions’ therapist can help your child recognize negative thought patterns and to understand that there are constructive ways to work through issues that cause him or her to feel upset, overwhelmed or depressed. Your therapist can also work with your child to help improve his or her self-esteem, and to develop a more realistic view of him or herself. These strategies can provide immediate relief for your child as well as engrain a positive thinking process that can be used throughout life.
Your Orenstein Solutions therapist can also help you to better understand your child’s emotional experience, and provide you with tools you can use at home to help your child develop a more empowering view of his or her place in the world. You can learn how to help your child respond to situations more effectively, develop positive motivational strategies, and learn ways to create and maintain healthy friendships. Your therapist can also provide you with support as you and your child work through challenging emotions and situations.
Child depression is one of the most common and effectively treated disorders. There are many proven methods than can provide relief, mitigate symptoms and promote harmony. With help, your child can feel and function better, and you can develop tools to help your child feel supported and successful now and throughout his or her childhood and adolescence.
But, you still may have questions or concerns…
I’ve heard that child depression counseling is costly and can take a lot of time. I’m not sure that it’s worthwhile.
It can be helpful to look at therapy as an investment in your child’s immediate and future wellbeing, as well as an investment in your family. Child depression can be difficult to understand, which can create disharmony at home and at school. Potential behavior and motivation issues, resulting from your child’s struggles, may also increase stress for your child, his or her teachers and your family. Investing in your child now can create the opportunity for him or her to work through depression and related symptoms. Both you and your child can learn techniques to improve your child’s self-esteem and perception issues, which can provide a great sense of relief and set your child up for future mental, emotional and academic success. When your child feels and functions better, harmony at home and school can be restored, benefiting your child and everyone involved.
I’m afraid that a depression diagnosis could mean medication for the rest of my child’s life.
Medication is just one tool in the toolbox that can be used to treat depression in children. There are many other approaches we can try first. However, if non-medication approaches are not working, there may be a biological reason for your child’s depression. If your therapist believes that medication should be considered, our board-certified, staff psychiatrist can help you determine a treatment plan that works with your child’s age and stage. It is possible that medication could be a temporary solution for your child. Medication can mitigate symptoms, helping your child to actively participate in school, family and peer relationships, as well as counseling. For many children, once core issues are addressed and a foundation for academic, social, and emotional success is built, medication can be gradually discontinued. For other children, a medication maintenance plan will be recommended. Our psychiatrist will discuss options with you so that you can make an informed decision about your child’s treatment.
I’m afraid that if we go to therapy, we’ll learn that something is really wrong.
Worrying that something may be really wrong is more common than you may think. However, it can be so reassuring to know what’s really occurring for your child – and it’ll likely not be as bad as you now think. However, until you know if your child is experiencing depression or just going through a phase, your worried thoughts will continue, which benefits no one.
Your Orenstein Solutions therapist can determine the core issues affecting your child and help devise a manageable treatment plan. Your child can get the help that he or she needs. And, you can get the support, education and guidance you need to make informed and empowering decisions for your child and family.
We provide services in the Raleigh-Cary metropolitan area. We invite you to call us for a free 15-minute consultation to discuss any questions you have about depression in children, your child’s specific needs and our practice.