Big Kids And Mental Health: Can Children Experience Depression?

By Abbie Kraft, Parent Herald December 31, 11:05 pm

One in every 33 children is diagnosed with clinical depression. While adult depression can be detected much easier, a manifestation of depression among kids and pre-schoolers are much more challenging to identify.

Adult depression can easily be detected by the way they behave, and the way they would react to certain situation. When older people are depressed, it can easily be noticed as they can be vocal about it.

Adults can seek help when they are in troubled waters because of the fact that older people have the capability to grasp the concept of depression, unlike younger children. As it turns out, discovering depression in children only has proven to be much more difficult because of their varying symptoms, as per Web MD.

"It's relatively recent that we are recognizing depression in children," says David Fassler, MD, a child and adolescent psychiatrist told Web MD. "When I went to medical school some 20-odd years ago, we were taught that kids didn't get depressed."

Toddlers and children suffering from depression would tend to have unusual phases in their daily activities. Depression in toddlers and young children are more than just feeling sad, or expressing melancholic traits. It is more than just feeling tired and lethargic.

It is important to take note of how your toddler is acting, most especially after a traumatic event, as it can be a subtle sign of depression. Listed below are a few indications of what a child goes though if depressed.

Mood Swings

A child's heightened dramatic mood swings can be a sign of depression. Baby Center cited that intense irritability, anger, and defiance can be a symptom of depression in younger children as they grasp what it feels like to be depressed. The feeling of depression can be overwhelming for young children, causing them to burst out with unpredictable mood swings.

Poor School Performance

Depression can greatly affect school performance, like how it affects work performance in adults. Once a toddler or a young child go through depression, he/she might have a hard time when it comes to coping up with school work.

Anxiety Attacks

Depression in toddlers and young children is often paired with anxiety. It also comes with different learning disabilities and eating disorders. "In children, depression often goes hand in hand with other problems, like anxiety, attention deficit disorder, conduct disorders, eating disorders, or substance abuse problems," says Nadine J. Kaslow, Ph.D. told Baby Center.

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