When A Child Is Depressed

Like adults, children can have mental health disorders. Studies show that at least 1 in 5 children has a psychological disorder while 1 in 10 has a severe emotional disturbance. Left untreated, this can lead to school failure, family conflicts, drug abuse, violence, and even suicide. Child mental health disorder is costly to the child, the family, and the rest of society.

Seven-year-old Chikki is troubled inside. Her mother is adulterous and has recently left home. The parental separation and broken family takes its toll on her. She begins to cry a lot, get angry, or over-react to things or people around her. She refuses to eat a lot of times. Daydreaming and unable to complete tasks, she quits school and begins to avoid class mates, playmates, and family. She loses interest in things previously enjoyed and there now appears unexplained changes in her sleeping and eating patterns.

All of these happening to Chikki are a signal of her need for help. They are warning signs. Though there may be physiological or environmental causes, Nikki’s condition is mostly traceable to how she reacts emotionally inside her to the trauma of her mother’s infidelity, abandonment, and eventual separation from her father. Like physical health, caring for the mental health of Nikki at this crucial stage is important because this will seriously affect development later on in her life.

If your child or someone you know have any of the warning signs exhibited by Chikki, it’s highly advisable to seek professional help.

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