Childhood Depression, Symptoms And Treatment
Childhood depression is a very common and serious psychiatric illness in children and adolescents. It is characterized as a disease classified within the so-called mood disorders. And it has been known for centuries in different cultures. Approximately one in 20 children and adolescents will have depressive episodes before reaching the age of 19.
The reality is that not even half of these children receive adequate treatment.
Studies have shown that parents seriously underestimate the intensity of depression in their children. The symptoms that children and adolescents show are very similar to those of adults, accompanied by other specific symptoms that differ according to age.
3 types of mood disorders can affect our children.
- Major depression.
- Dysthymia (state of slight depression but of long duration).
- Manic-depressive (bipolar).
HOW CAN WE IDENTIFY IF OUR CHILDREN SUFFER FROM DEPRESSION
- High irritability or extreme hostility.
- Frequent sadness or crying spells.
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Decreased interest in activities or difficulty having fun in previously favorite activities.
- Persistent boredom
- Lack of energy or tiredness.
- Social isolation or lack of communication.
- Low self-esteem or feelings of guilt.
If you suspect that your child may be presenting symptoms of depression. Please go as soon as possible with a team of professionals with experience in this disease. It is a very common problem in many people, but with the correct treatment, good results are obtained. Coordinated work with parents is essential to solve the problem. A diagnosis is made through a clinical interview.
Specific techniques are used. Both verbal and non-verbal due to the limited communication that they usually present in this age group. The frequency of depression is the same in boys and girls before puberty. But starting at puberty, girls are at higher risk for depression.
There are two types of treatments to combat depression.
- Drug treatment.
- Treatment with psychotherapy with the child and the family.
I would personally avoid drugs for any unwanted side effects that it may have. The affection, attention, love and respect with which children are educated is essential for upbringing. Although there will be cases where the situation becomes difficult and cannot be avoided, it is necessary to ask an expert for help.
Prevention is better than regret.