Most parents enter the divorce talk with their children knowing that it may be difficult for them to understand and may make them feel out of control of their lives. While divorce tends to be hard on all family members, watch out for signs that your children suffer from more than post-divorce blues.
According to WebMD, about three percent of all children in the U.S. suffer from depression.
What is depression?
Do not mistake your children being upset for depression. Sadness may come and go as your children adjust to their new life, but if your kids cannot function in class or have difficulty socializing with their friends or family, they may have symptoms of depression. While depression may occur due to genetics, trauma and other mental health issues, it can also develop after a severe life-changing event, like divorce. When kids feel like they have a chaotic environment, they may develop depression.
What are the signs of depression?
In many kids, depression may manifest similarly to them as it does in adults. However, some kids may react with anger. They may have outbursts or crying fits often. Your children may have more headaches and stomachaches that will not disappear. Children may also become more withdrawn, less likely to eat and full of fatigue.
Look for notable changes in your children. Most kids do better with a structured environment, so you may want to look at your and your spouse’s attempts at maintaining a stable environment for your kids. Kids who suffer from depression may have frequent accidents, take more risks or focus on morbid themes.