Depression and Suicide among children are on the rise now. Children especially in the threshold of adolescence are seen developing depression these days. Adolescence is the period of development during which a child negotiates the transition from the dependence of childhood to the independence of young adulthood and parents should keep a vigil for the symptoms of depression. Although suicide cannot be defined as a mental disorder it is noticed that majority of children who committed suicide suffered from mood disorders and depression. These children mostly showed visible signs of depression like lack of interest in activities that used to please them earlier, feel unloved, had problems concentrating, lacked energy and motivation, had irregular sleep patterns, felt pessimistic and hopeless about the future that they thought that life is not worth living and found their solution in alcoholism or drug addiction or suicide. If the symptoms of depression are noticed at an earlier stage suicidal tendency among children can be prevented.
Childhood depression is different from the normal blues that occur as a child develops. Just because a child seems to be depressed or sad it does not necessarily mean that they may have Depression. But if the symptoms of Depression are persistent and interfering with the normal life of the child then it is an indication that he or she has the medical illness called depression. As a parent it is sometimes easier to deny that your child has depression. You may even put off seeking professional help for your child because of the social stigmas associated with mental illness. But as a parent it is very important that you realize the importance of treatment for helping your child getting out of this condition. Keep in mind that Depression is not a passing mood or a condition that will go away without proper treatment. While depression is a serious illness it is also a treatable one.
The symptoms of depression in children can vary. Children with a family history of depression or violence, alcohol abuse and physical or sexual abuse are more prone to depression. Children from chaotic or conflicted families or those with stressful life events are at a greater risk of alcohol or drug addiction and suicide. If the symptoms of depression in your child have lasted for at least two weeks make sure that your child receives proper treatment.Parents should be particularly cautious of symptoms that may indicate that their child is at risk for suicide. Most off the symptoms of depression are indications or warning signs of suicidal behavior as well. Keep a watch on these symptoms of teenage depression. Many children are also been noticed talking about hopelessness, suicide or dying prior to committing suicide. Many children also give away their possessions, bid farewell as it is the last time or even indulge in crybaby behavior. These symptoms are no joke and needs immediate attention from professionals. Yesterdays Times of India Newspaper (5th Jan, 2010) had 2 such instances of suicide where 11 year old Neha Sawant and 12 year old Sushant Patil committing suicide, both victims of depression. So parents Beware!