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depression in children

Posted by on May. 21, 2011 at 4:51 AM
  • 5 Replies

How Can I Tell if My Child Is Depressed?

The symptoms of depression in children vary. Early medical studies focused on "masked" depression, where a child's depressed mood was evidenced by acting out or angry behavior. While this does occur, particularly in younger children, many children display sadness or low mood similar to adults who are depressed. The primary symptoms of depression revolve around sadness, a feeling of hopelessness, and mood changes and may include:

  • Irritability or anger


  • Continuous feelings of sadness, hopelessness


  • Social withdrawal


  • Increased sensitivity to rejection


  • Changes in appetite -- either increased or decreased


  • Changes in sleep -- sleeplessness or excessive sleep


  • Vocal outbursts or crying


  • Difficulty concentrating


  • Fatigue and low energy


  • Physical complaints (such as stomachaches, headaches) that do not respond to treatment


  • Reduced ability to function during events and activities at home or with friends, in school, extracurricular activities, and in other hobbies or interests


  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt


  • Impaired thinking or concentration


  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Not all children have all of these symptoms. In fact, most will display different symptoms at different times and in different settings. Although some children may continue to function reasonably well, most kids with significant depression will suffer a noticeable change in social activities, loss of interest in school and poor academic performance, or a change in appearance. Children may also begin using drugs or alcohol, especially if they are over the age of 12.

by on May. 21, 2011 at 4:51 AM
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Replies (1-5):
rhodaj
by rho on May. 21, 2011 at 10:33 AM

everyone needs to remember that a child can be depressed just as adults.  If not caught at an early age they will start self medicating themselves.  We just got a diagnoses on my grandson that he is add with behavioral problems and depressed with the tendincy to self medicate.  I'm glad it was caught now then later so we can use the options out there to help him. 

matreshka
by on May. 21, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Also, its important to recognize symptoms that look like depression in children could be something else. I say this based on conversations Ive had with my therapist about my childhood.  often these symptoms are signs that abuse may be going on, which is why its very important that a child not JUST be medicated but see a qualified child psychologist first.

kids definitely can show predisposition to depression but it has to be dealt with very carefully as their brains are still developing, and medication can very much interfere with that. i often wonder if i would be a little bit better if i wasn't so heavily medicated as an adolescent.


leahbeah143
by Leah on May. 21, 2011 at 4:55 PM

 thank you for sharing this. my daughter is 11 and I'm sure getting ready to head into puberty. I know that I had issues with depression starting around 12-13 years old, so I need to keep an eye out.

K_Marie
by on May. 22, 2011 at 11:52 PM

 That's my daughter :(

rhodaj
by rho on May. 23, 2011 at 8:23 AM

 

Quoting matreshka:

Also, its important to recognize symptoms that look like depression in children could be something else. I say this based on conversations Ive had with my therapist about my childhood.  often these symptoms are signs that abuse may be going on, which is why its very important that a child not JUST be medicated but see a qualified child psychologist first.

kids definitely can show predisposition to depression but it has to be dealt with very carefully as their brains are still developing, and medication can very much interfere with that. i often wonder if i would be a little bit better if i wasn't so heavily medicated as an adolescent.


 Yes dont just take your child in and let them say your child needs to be on meds.  It took almost 6 months to get diagnoses on both of my grandsons.  They also have a non stimulant med for children now that I hope will work for them

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