What can I do to help my child deal with depression?

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If you do have a child going through depression, learn all you can about this condition. And don’t blame yourself. Join support groups and network with other parents going through this experience. A depressed child may shut you out, but don’t walk away. Don’t take it personally. Reassure your child that you are there for him and you are available to listen when he’s ready to talk. This is a message that you may need to convey over and over because a depressed child probably feels unworthy of love and attention. Meanwhile, provide a structured environment for your child by sticking to daily routines and keeping regular mealtimes and bedtimes. Be firm and consistent in enforcing rules during this time.

From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

More About this Book

Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

When kids start going on TV binges or devouring fistfuls of cookies, it's easy to say, "They'll grow out of it." More likely, they're acquiring bad habits that could lead to childhood obesity and...
To help your child manage and cope with depression, try the following:

• Help your child follow her depression treatment plan, including taking any
  prescribed medication.
• Encourage your child to get exercise by planning physical activities with
  her, such as going on walks, hikes, or bike rides.
• Remind your child that you support and love her and that you'll be there
  for her no matter what.
• Never tell your child to “snap out of it.”
• Look out for signs of worsening depression.
• Be aware of the warning signs of suicide, such as giving away
  possessions and thinking and/or talking about death a lot. Call your
  child's mental health advisor right away if you notice warning signs of
  suicide in your child.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.