Adults often think that children are not mature enough to experience the emotions that constitute depression, but a respected child and adolescent psychiatrist said children respond to stressful situations like we do.
In the spirit of Mental Health Awareness Month we asked Johannesburg-based, Dr Helen Clark, for some guidance on what to look out for and what to do.
5 WARNING SIGNS TO LOOK OUT FOR AND WHAT TO DO:
1.Seeing a change in the child - the child may appear sad, irritable, cry more often, start having tantrums, start withdrawing, isolating themselves OR become agitated and behave badly and become aggressive The key is the change in behaviour from before.
“Talk to your child that you have noticed he's not the same as before. Is there something worrying him? How is he feeling? Suggest emotions and explain them to help him describe them. Encourage him to talk. This may be all he needs -to know that you know and are going to help him. You can also start watching him to elicit other signs of depression at which time you should seek professional help.”