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2 Bumps

Can kids become depressed?

I posted the other day about how my son was crying because he missed grammy. Well today he seemed kind of mopey all day. It was gorgeous out and he didn't want to play outside. I gave him a list of fun things we could do, and he disagreed to all but Chuck E Cheese. So we went, he had fun but the car ride home he was silent, we came home and still didn't want to play outside, and was basically attached to my hip for most of the day. He hasn't been himself at all, hes usually full of energy and getting on my nerves lol. He's not sick either, so what could it be? Depression seems a little harsh.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:18 PM on Apr. 22, 2013 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (9)
  • yeah,they can

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 9:20 PM on Apr. 22, 2013

  • yes

    Answer by Crafty26 at 9:37 PM on Apr. 22, 2013

  • They definitely ccan, but one day of moping does not depression make. Did he give you any tips about what might be bothering him?

    Answer by Ballad at 9:39 PM on Apr. 22, 2013

  • This is normal behaviour after a seperation. 2 days is a lifetime to a child. I doubt your little one is actually depressed but yes children can become depressed

    Answer by Dardenella at 10:22 PM on Apr. 22, 2013

  • Kids have the same emotions as adults, they just don't have the same life experience to understand them.

    Answer by RyansMom001 at 10:25 PM on Apr. 22, 2013

  • Sure, yes. All humans have a full range of emotions (it's not an adult thing but a human capacity.) But keep in mind that "depression" indicates a blocked emotional process. The idea of "anger/rage turned inward" is very applicable to depression; it tends to be a state that is a cumulative result. (Unless you are using "depressed" to mean "feeling low" or "moody." Then "being depressed" can mean, essentially, "feeling bummed out.")
    Sure, little kids can feel bummed. Also, kids can feel generally disconnected & at loose ends as a result. Those can be hard feelings to navigate! Many times, adults rely on non-optimal coping mechanisms to "get through" uncomfortable patches like that. Finding something to distract themselves or "cheer them up," or other escapes. Engaging the feelings & actually processing them is quite different, but a skill many have not been supported in developing (hence reliance on distraction & avoidance.)

    Answer by girlwithC at 8:57 AM on Apr. 23, 2013

  • Yes. I was depressed most of my childhood.

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 9:15 AM on Apr. 23, 2013

  • I'd add to RyansMom001's comments that kids also don't have as many learned patterns of avoidance & emotional dissociation (as adults do.)

    The instinct to connect is a healthy one, and if your son is/was seeking out connection with you when he was feeling low, it's a good instinct. Letting him "be" how he is, and caring about how it is (when an individual temporarily loses his "emergent energy" or his sense of engagement & purpose, knowing what he wants to do & feeling good), is a good and adequate response. There's nothing really to solve, fix or escape. Feelings tend to pass and change when we allow ourselves actually to have them, and what kids need is support for the process while they're feeling their full range of feelings.
    Once a child's attachment needs are met (he gets tanked up or refueled), his sense of well-being returns along with that emergent energy. His energy returns to growing & doing; he gets busy.

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:15 AM on Apr. 23, 2013

  • Of course they can!!!!

    Answer by older at 1:55 PM on Apr. 23, 2013

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