Symptoms of Depression In children vary and is often undiagnosed. They may be passed off as normal psychological and emotional changes that children go through during their growth process. This is also termed as “masked depression” which indicates acting out or angry behavior, however, many children also display the typical low mood or persistent sadness along with hopelessness and mood changes.
Counselling for Children with Depression, is an important next step that needs to be done once Depression is Diagnosed. Most often for kids with Depression the therapist first identifies the cognitive distortions in the mind of the child. Cognitive Distortions simply are distorted or Unhealthy Thinking patterns. The Counsellor / Psychologist then teaches the child effective coping strategies to help him deal with his distorted thinking patterns. By doing this, the psychologist encourages the child to re-evaluate his Negative Self-Perceptions of himself/herself and the world around him/her. Using various emotional and behavioural techniques they aim at changing the child’s thinking into a more positive and healthy approach.
Another approach in counselling depression in children which is widely used is Family Therapy. Family Interventions help children’s emotional wellbeing to a vast extent. Counselling can help increase and encourage the Family’s participation in the child’s treatment, increase of positive behaviours from Parents and lowering stress levels within the Family.
Parental depression, Conflicts within Families, Unstable Family Environment, Abuse, etc are factors that have been proven to increase and prolong depression and other mental health issues in children. Hence Family Interventions, and maintaining a healthy family environment goes a long way in preventing other possible issues.
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