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Parents must pay close attention to depression

No matter how much you have, it is what you don't have that matters!
No matter how much you have, it is what you don't have that matters!USA Today/Associated Press

In the wake of the death of Robin Williams, parents must ask themselves just how aware they truly are of what their child is feeling. It just goes to show that money and power and popularity cannot buy happiness. Williams is proof of this.

His life was filled with excitement as he played a variety of roles; many bringing him fame, success and awards most people would die for. Well, he did die for them proving that the price of success is sometimes too high!

The loss of such a famous character has a tendency to get everyone thinking. Parents should really step back and take a good look at their children’s mental states as they are about to be stressed (while some are truly overwhelmed) with the end of summer and the beginning of a new school season.

Children of recent have become attuned to having things dropped in their laps such as everyone gets a participation trophy no matter if they succeeded at the task at hand or not. When even these small successes are not randomly doled out, kids get depressed.

If you add that depression with the opportunity for drugs, alcohol, premature sexual activity and a whole host of other outside influences, it is no wonder that the depression increases in teens and young adults. Sometimes the depression begins at even earlier stages in the game, which, if you truly think about it, is quite frightening. Even children that have the proverbial ‘silver spoon in mouth’ can find a reason to be depressed and consider suicide as their only option.

What can parents do to prevent this? What should they be on the lookout for?

HelpGuide.org was established in collaboration with Harvard Health Publications, a division of Harvard Medical School. They made the following list of suggestions of things parents can look for if they believe that their child is depressed.

§ Sadness or hopelessness

§ Irritability, anger, or hostility

§ Tearfulness or frequent crying

§ Withdrawal from friends and family

§ Loss of interest in activities

§ Changes in eating and sleeping habits

§ Restlessness and agitation

§ Feelings of worthlessness and guilt

§ Lack of enthusiasm and motivation

§ Fatigue or lack of energy

§ Difficulty concentrating

§ Thoughts of death or suicide

If, as a parent, you notice any of these signals, you know that it is time to get your child the help they need and deserve; sometimes even then, considering Robin Williams, timing is critical.

Pay attention parents. Depression and suicide are not a game. The time for intervention is now – before it is too late!