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Depression in children

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During childhood years, children are almost as susceptible to being depressed as adults. Many adults to not realize that being a child can be very frustrating, and they often feel powerless. Children can have a lot of stress in their lives and cannot deal with it as easily as adults. They have many concerns such as school, peers, parental acceptations, etc. Childhood depression is a mental illness that affects children's behavior and moods. If it is not treated, in years to come it may lead to school failure, use of alcohol and/or drugs, or even suicide. Depression in children is caused by a possible combination of several things. It can involve the child's environment, genes, or children with medical problems. The most common causes of depression evolve from children who have been abused, who have chaotic families or households, non-consistent parents, neglect, or other stressful events. Children who experience loss or who have learning disorders are more likely to be diagnosed with depression. If bad things happen to a child and there is a family history of depression, a depressed child is a very likely outcome. ...read more.


It is very important to treat this illness and be aware of the symptoms, because it may only get worse as they get older. Because each child responds to depression differently, it is very possible that children might hurt themselves, or even commit suicide. Children may not have the vocabulary to express their feelings like adults do, so they tend to show their depression more through their behavior. They might not even know that they are depressed, although they may be able to respond honestly if they are asked directly if they are sad. Depressed children often believe that there is nothing they can do to relieve their feelings of depression. They may not even recognize that it's not normal to feel this way. They may perceive that this is "just the way it is" because this is their only experience. They have no other feelings for comparison. This is another difference between depression in children and adults, because they are too young to realize that this is not a normal feeling for them to have. Early diagnosis and medical treatment are essential for depressed children. ...read more.


If the case of depression is more serious, and the child is severely depressed or suicidal, then medication would be recommended. Generally, a combination of both medication and therapy is considered to be the most helpful. The decision of how long a child should stay on antidepressants is questionable. It depends on the severity of the depression, and the effects of the medication; whether or not it helps, and if there are any side effects. If the depression is severe enough or recurrent, the child and family may want to consider longer-term maintenance. Depression can be a long-term illness, which will follow them as they grow older. Since a young person who has had a depression is more vulnerable to drug abuse, one should start out early with preventative measures. The primary care doctor can help monitor the child if they relapse, substance abuse and social skills problems during and after the psychiatric treatment. The symptoms of depression should be made aware to all parents and teachers. Depressed children should not be taken lightly, because it can have very serious effects if it is not treated. Adults must keep in mind that being a child is not as carefree as they may remember, and children are almost just as susceptible of depression as they are. ...read more.

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