Identifying signs of depression in foster kids

Identifying Signs of Depression in Foster Kids
Fostering is not an easy job as it brings with it various challenges. One such challenge is identifying mental conditions like depression in foster kids. Although psychiatrist help can be useful in some cases, most of the time it is up to foster parents to recognize the problem. If you are a foster carer looking for help in this regard, this blog can help you.
What Causes Depression/Anxiety in Foster Kids?
Although there’s not a particular thing that causes depression in foster children, there are life events and personal concerns that are believed to trigger the condition. To know what the exact problem area is, it is required for a fostering agency or carer to monitor the kids.  
Life Events
Most children in foster care have suffered some kind of trauma in the past which in turn might have led to anxiety in them. While the variety of trauma varies from child to child, there are some common events experts believe can result in the condition. These are:
  • Isolation: Foster children suffering from depression might have been neglected at their home. This feeling of loneliness can result in low self-esteem and worry which in turn might have caused depression in them.
  • Abuse: Abuse whether emotional or physical can result in depression in anyone and foster kids are no exception. Such type of behavior leaves deep scars in an individual and makes them suffer mentally, physically or both.
  • Bullying: Studies have shown the impact of bullying on one’s health. So, if your foster child suffers from depression, bullying can be the reason behind it.
  • Other Reasons: Other reasons like fear of being taken away from family, homesickness etc. can also lead to depression in foster kids.
Personal Issues
There are a variety of personal factors which tend to influence a foster child’s likelihood to endure depression.
  • Genetics: Those born in families with a history of depression are likely to suffer depression. However, this isn’t the case always.
  • Illness or medical Issues: Medical conditions, long-term illness or disability can also lead to depression in many foster kids.
  • Personal Traits: Children who are introverts by nature are more at risk of depression. Their personalities can result in low self-esteem, worrying and anxiety, all of which are by-products of depression.

Spotting the Warning Signs of Depression
If a foster kid shows negative behavior for a longer period of time, chances are he/she might be living with depression. Some of the warning signs of depression to check them in are:
  • Anger or irritability, especially at small things.
  • Constant feelings of sadness
  • Isolation or social withdrawal
  • Excessive tiredness or sleeplessness
  • Appetite changes
  • Lack of concentration
  • Unexplained guilt
  • Low energy levels

The signs of depression vary from person to person, so it’s important for you to recognize the exact sign. And identifying the sign will take a lot of patience. As a foster parent, you should always be ready to take help from the required entities such as the foster agency of the child, his/her birth family, your friends, doctors, social workers etc.

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