Depression in Children

This is not recognized by most people because childhood depression symptoms are different from adult depression and depression is known as a disease that only adults can experience.

Depression may occur even in infancy, although there is a difference in symptoms according to developmental periods.

Childhood depression may have environmental, biological and genetic causes. Environmental factors include frequent separation of the child from the caregiver or constant change of caregiver, and failure to meet the basic needs of the child in a timely and adequate manner. When the studies on genetic factors are examined, it is seen that any of the parents having mood disorders increases the risk of depression in the child. As a biological cause, irregularities in some chemicals existing in the brain are thought to lead to depression.

According to researches, depression occurs in 0.9% of preschool children and 1.9% of school-age children.

What are the Symptoms of Depression in Children?

  • The depressed child is unhappy and less cheerful than before.
  • He/she is indifferent to the activities he/she has previously enjoyed and experiences weight gain or weight loss in a short time.
  • Sleep problems such as more or less sleeping, fatigue and energy loss are seen.
  • There are decreases in school success due to difficulty in concentrating attention, difficulty in understanding and expressing the subject.
  • They have self-confidence problems due to negative thoughts such as “I am a failure”.
  • There may be suicidal thoughts and attempts.

In addition to these symptoms, the most important symptom that distinguishes childhood depression from adult depression is crisis induction. While introversion is more common in adults, rapid anger, restlessness, overreaction to even simple events, and intolerance to inhibition occur more frequently in childhood.

Childhood depression may also be accompanied by physical complaints such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea.

Treatment of Depression in Children

In the treatment of childhood depression, psychotherapy and medication are used individually or together. According to the data obtained, the treatment method where both methods are applied together gives more positive results.

During this period, parents should patiently welcome their children’s introverted, aggressive and angry states and avoid behaviours that will become stubborn. In addition, conflicts about the decline in course success should not be introduced so that negative thoughts about school are not reinforced and they do not experience any problems related to self-confidence.

The information on this page has been prepared by the Moodist Psychiatry and Neurology Hospital Medical Team.

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