Could Your Preschooler Be Suffering From Depression?

Is your preschool-age child struggling to enjoy their time in preschool or suffering from frequent bouts of anger or frustration? There's a chance they may be suffering from depression. The reasons for this depression are often hard to pin-point, but preschool can help manage these symptoms.

Depression In Preschoolers Is Often Due To Low Socialization

Sadly, multiple studies have shown that depression is a possibility with preschoolers. In a study by Joan L. Luby of the Washington University in St. Louis, it was found that depression during this age was possible, especially if the child received little to no socialization at a young age. Symptoms of depression in preschoolers mirrored that of children of other ages, and included:

  • Anger and irritation
  • Sadness and hopelessness
  • Sensitive feelings to rejection
  • Low energy
  • Difficulty concentrating

These symptoms often occur during time in the preschool classroom and can take the form of fights with students or difficulties with their teacher. However, preschool can be a powerful way to help fight these symptoms by providing a social outlet for your child.

Preschool Can Be A Powerful Socialization Tool

When people are depressed, they often feel a great need for social contact. This is no different for preschool-age children. Those who do not attend preschool may experience no outlet for their symptoms or feel unable to express them to their parents. Socialization is an important outlet for all ages, as it decreases loneliness and makes preschoolers feel happier and connected.

These activities decrease a sense of loneliness while promoting feelings of safety, security, belonging, and enjoyment. As a result, it is wise to not let your child spend time isolated at home if they show signs of depression during preschool classes. In fact, there are certain types of depression treatments which can be integrated into a preschool classroom.

Certain Education Lessons May Help Manage Preschool Depression Symptoms

Many child psychologists don't like prescribing anti-depressants to preschool children because of the delicate chemical nature of their minds. That's why certain types of behavior-modification techniques have been developed, including intervention with cartoon-based games and shows and narratives based around exploring their depression.

Many of these types of techniques mimic the natural playing and sharing atmosphere of a preschool classroom at a school like Kid's Country Child Care & Learning Center. For example, children often share their activities with each other and watch cartoon shows that explore real-life situations. As a result, preschool is a useful tool for identifying depression and finding ways to manage it.

If you're on the fence about whether preschool will help your depressed child, remember that many schools have a counselor or psychologist that can talk to your child in a safe and friendly environment. This may be a useful way to get to the bottom of the problem.