How to Reduce the Chance of your Child getting Depression in later Life

Depression is a psychiatric disorder that affects a person’s life adversely. According to ICD-10 criterias depression is characterized by low mood, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, low energy, disturbed sleep, poor concentration, poor self esteem, pessimistic ideas regarding the future, suicidal thoughts, guilt and altered appetite. All above symptoms interfere with the person’s day to day activities. Therefore, it is important to prevent depression as much as possible. Prevention of depression should be started form the childhood, because some of the precipitating factors occur during the childhood.

Several factors contribute for the development of depression. Out of these, genetic predisposition and preceding depressive life events are seen predominantly. If you have a family history of depression, then there is a chance for your child to have depression as well, but it is very low. Other than genetic factors, a traumatic life event also contributes for the development of depression. Following steps can be taken in order to protect your child form developing depression.

Identify the Risk

Identification of risk for developing depression is important. To do that, first you have to know the causative factors of depression. If your child has one or more of these causative factors, he is at a high risk of developing depression as an adult. For example if your child has a family history of depression, he is at a high risk. After identifying the risk, you can pay more attention to your child’s behavior.

Help the Child to Improve his coping Skills

As mentioned earlier, almost all the depressive episodes of a person are preceded by a traumatic life event. You can help the child to improve his skills in facing these problems. If you think that your child has poor coping skills, you can get the help of child psychiatrist or a child psychologist. Then they will examine the child and advice on further management.

Prevent Abuse

Child abuse is also a well known cause of depression in adult life. A child can be abused at any time. It can occur in the house, in the school, in the school bus and anywhere the child goes. You should have a good relationship with your child in order to identify if the child is being abused. Then you can take all necessary steps to prevent abuse.

Prevent Substance Abuse

Substance abuse causes depression. People who drink alcohol heavily and those who are abusing opioids are at a high risk of developing depression later in their life. The only way to prevent this from happening is by making your child understand about the adverse effects of substance abuse. People tend to learn and follow the things they learn as a child better than those learnt during adulthood. Therefore, sooner you teach your child regarding adverse effects of substance abuse is the better.

As described earlier, depression can be precipitated by many factors. The only way to prevent depression from occurring is by protecting your child from these factors. In order to do that you should have a thorough knowledge regarding the precipitating factors. Apart from that, maintaining a very good relationship with your child is very important to identify any risk factors for development of depression.