As we have dealt with thousands of students at Lakeside we have seen significant rises in our children and teenagers with a variety of mental health issues. One of those issues is depression. It rarely seems like it is even possible to some parents and caregivers that their child may be depressed. Yet we experience those kinds of symptoms in our students quite frequently.
Dr. Alison Escalante who is a pediatrician just published an article in Psychology Today on this topic. In the article she states:
It’s terrifying for a parent to think that they might miss signs of depression in their child. Unfortunately, it’s often the case. While in a small subset of cases parents bring their child in for help shortly after depression begins, the opposite is far more common in my clinical experience. Typically, by the time a child comes to see me for help, they’ve been reporting significant symptoms of anxiety and depression for two to three years before the visit.
With depression and suicide on the rise in children, this has become an urgent issue. Parents report that 1 in 4 children know a peer with depression, and 1 in 10 know one who has committed suicide.
In the article she answers some significant questions like, “Why don’t kids tell their parents how they are feeling?” And “How can parents set up a relationship that feels open to their children?”
She also asks, “What do you do when your child won’t talk to you?”
I find Dr. Escalante’s answers to these questions could be very helpful to parents and caregivers when there is a suspicion there may be some emotional changes in a child. We also need to be mindful that in the holiday season there can be some very challenging emotions that can look like depression or anxiety.
I hope this article will be helpful to those of you who have a child or teenager that may be showing signs of depression or where suspect that to be the case.