Depression is quickly becoming a major issue among children nowadays. It is even worse for children of households with limited income. It can get expensive to get the right treatment for them.
But there are ways to blunt the effects of depression without spending a large amount of money. Here are some of them.
Know The Signs
The best way to deal with depression is to catch it early. For that to happen, you need to know the various signs. It can be difficult to do this because the signs can be part of normal growth. But some signs are not normal. For one, you should look out for your child suddenly experiencing a drop in academic performance. Bad grades that happen without any external reasons can be worrying. Don’t be angry about the low grades but be concerned and talk it out with them.
Another potential warning sign is that your child seems to be eating differently. Take note of their eating habits. Most children have healthy appetites because their body demands it. If they stop eating as much as they should or eat a lot less, something is likely wrong.
These are some warning signs and should set off alarm bells. This is where you sit down with them and provide them with the help that they need.
Show Emotional Support
Children don’t know how to handle depression and it shows in how they behave. They will be scrambling to get back their emotional equilibrium but they don’t know how to do it. This is where you come in You need to sit down and give them a talk. Several issues can be bothering them. A major one that never goes away is bullying. Other reasons for depression include a personal loss, increasing demands of school work, and more.
Talking with your child allows them to reach out and get your support. Besides that, you should also be spending time with them. This gives them more opportunities to talk to you. The important thing is to listen to them. When your child is worrying about something, they need to know that someone is listening to them. This show of support is often enough to encourage them to seek your help.
Get a Pet
Besides your support, they should be able to seek emotional support from other sources. Friends are great but an incredible pillar of support for children is pets. A good pet loves unconditionally. Whether it is a hamster or a dog, children know it when they are loved and this often enough.
While pets may not seem cost-effective, they can be worth the expense. For example, for the cost of a dog boot camp and additional food spending, you technically have a live-in therapist for your child. Have your child handle their care so that they learn some routine and structure. The presence of a pet also gives them a way to reduce stress and anxiety.
Give Them a Healthy Life
Another thing that you should do is to provide your child with a healthy life. It is surprising how physical health can affect the emotional health of your child. For example, a diet that lacks essential nutrients can cause problems in development and cause stress. If you want to avoid those, you should be feeding them balanced meals.
Besides that, you should introduce your child to the joys of exercise and physical activity. In addition to providing them with healthy distractions, exercise pumps the body with endorphins and other natural mood enhancers. Additionally, a fitter body can help those who have low self-esteem as they feel their body has become better.
Look For Low-cost Alternatives
Finally, you can choose the regular treatment for depression: therapy and medication. The problem is that they are pretty expensive. Some therapists charge hundreds of dollars for every hour. But there are therapists out there that can provide cheaper services if you are in a particular income bracket. Look for local mental health organizations that are willing to help. Medications can also be the same, with some organizations giving a big discount to low-income earners.
A lot of problems that adults have stemmed from their childhood. Depression from their childhood can greatly affect their social and emotional lives as they grow. If you want them to be all that they can be and live long and happy lives, you need to be proactive and help them climb out of their depression. It is a constant battle but it can be worth it to see your child become the person they were meant to be.