The school summer holidays are drawing to a close and many parents are getting their children ready to go back to school. Understandably, most children aren't looking forward to hitting the books again, but is there something bigger that's worrying them?
Some studies show that almost one in four young people will experience depression before they are 19 years old. It's important to get help early if you think your child may be depressed. The longer it goes on, the more likely it is to disrupt your child's life and turn into a long-term problem.
Dr Teresa Strefford, Clinical Director of Commissioning, at NHS South Cheshire CCG and NHS Vale Royal CCG said: 'There is a difference between feeling a bit low from time to time and a serious emotional health problem. Struggling with feelings and problems is a normal part of life, but sometimes it can feel like it's all too much. If your child is unhappy or low for a prolonged period of time, you should seek advice.
'Some signs of depression in children can include having trouble sleeping or sleeping more than usual, eating less than usual or overeating, or being unable to relax, concentrate or make decisions. Headaches and stomach aches may be physical symptoms of anxiety.'
Dr Strefford explained: 'It's important to talk to your child if you think they're depressed. Try to find out what's troubling them and how they are feeling. If they don't want to talk, just letting them know that you care and that you're there if they need you can make a big difference
.'If they say they feel empty or numb, guilty or worthless, or have thoughts about suicide or self-harming, then encourage them to speak to a professional immediately.'
A teacher may be able to deal with the problem or may involve a school counsellor or welfare worker depending on the situation. Alternatively, book an appointment to see your GP.
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