By Dr. Abhijeet Dwivedi, Psychiatry
This may come as a shock to many but children have to face the problem of depression as well. This is actually one of the biggest and most complicated problems which psychiatrists face as they may not have the choice of giving the regular antidepressants that they give to adults. This is because it may be unsafe for the child. Therefore, many times a psychologist has to treat that child exclusively with psychotherapy sessions.
Why antidepressants should not be started but once started, should not be stopped?
It has been said that the FDA has a warning that claims that antidepressants make the child’s suicidal thoughts increase. This exacerbates the problem rather than solving it. However, what people do not know is that sometimes the medicine does help. Therefore, if you have started medicine, do not stop it. However, the most important thing is to not start it in the first place if you feel it may exacerbate the problem.
What else can be done?
1. Do not neglect your child
Your child’s primary cause of depression other than traumatic events can be neglect. A child can have everything he/she needs such an affluent lifestyle other luxuries of life. However a lack of parental contact will adversely affect your child. Avoid this by spending as much time as possible with your child.
2. Too much attention
Even worse than neglect is when you pander to your child and give him/her whatever he/she wants. This gives the child a sense of entitlement and the moment that they do not get something they want, they immediately become depressed. Therefore, do not neglect your child but never cater to all of his demands as well.
3. See a therapist before a pediatrician
Too many parents believe that just giving medications will solve the problem and make the child happy. Try a therapist before you do this now that you are aware of the harm that antidepressants may cause.