Childhood Depression is a concept that is pretty hard to imagine. But, how does a child experience it? Let’s try to understand that from a teacher’s encounter with a student suffering from this condition.
I used to teach Life Skills to II-C. For my subject was not like the regular ones.This was perhaps for many reasons. The kids used to be relaxed and filled with frolic when I used to reach the room.
She used to sit on the second last bench of the first row almost always. My lessons included stories, poems, videos and games on areas like ‘sharing and caring’, ‘problem-solving’, etc. The children usually enjoyed the lessons. She, on the other hand, was generally scribbling on her notebook or had her head down or had gone to the medical room or had her eyes gazing at me asking numerous questions but none were verbal.
I was curious to know about her because of a little different behavior as compared to other children. She hardly mingled with her classmates. She was also pretty irritable when given any other work apart from drawing. Other subjects’ teachers generally scolded her for incomplete written work and poor academic performance. I had made numerous attempts to talk to her but most of them were in vain.
One day I found her coming out of the counselor’s room. On having a word with the counselor thereafter, I came to know that she had Childhood Depression. That was my first encounter with something so strange that actually existed in the world. I was shocked as well as concerned for her. I sought the counselor’s suggestion as to what could I do as a teacher. She suggested the following:-
- Not forcing things upon her
- Using art therapy (as she loved to draw)
- Teaching through playful methods
- Facilitating her to engage in peer group tasks, as per her willingness
As per the counselor’s interaction with her parents, her brother was born recently and since then she was showing such behavior. This seemed a prominent reason. I did what I could during my contact with the class. I learned that being a teacher, I can truly have as much of an impact on a child as much that of her parents.
‘Sensitivity is the key and the Road as well’
If you know a child suffering from Depression, help him or her today. Click here to seek the help of a Child Psychologist.