Is Your Kid Depressed?

 Depression is a serious health problem that affects children as well as adults. A child can get depression after the loss of a loved one or a traumatic emotional event. Children who have been abused or constantly criticized can also develop chronic depression,

 Sometimes it is hard for depression to be diagnosed in a child. Often the child seems as lazy as the child suffers fatigue and may insist on lying around. The lack of motivation and energy that goes along with depression may be seen as stubbornness. Like adults, children who are depressed either overeat or undereat and develop a dislike of exercising and socializing. They may also become disinterested in their usual hobbies and interests.

Children that are most likely to experience depression are those who have experienced the loss of a pet or loved one (such as a parent or a sibling and those who already are experiencing some kind of disability or learning disorder such as Asperger's syndrome, dyslexia or Attention Deficit Disorder. If not treated depression can lead to failing grades, violence, alcohol, drug use and obesity 

A child with depression – 

Will wear clothes that cover most of the skin on the body

May insist on wearing the same thing every day

Refuses to look anyone in the eye

Uses his or her hair to cover the faceIs always irritable

Cries easilyIs unusually sarcastic or sardonic

May tell morbid tales or be obsessed with death

Prefers to watch television all day

Falls asleep at school or refuses to get up in the morning

Has insomnia or wakes up too early in the morning

Refuses to make decisions

Has many vague physical problems such as stomachaches and headaches

Cries easily

Shows inappropriate emotion or none at all (such as laughing at the death of a pet)

Talks about death or suicide

Talks about running away from home (apparently four out of five runaways were motivated by depression to leave home)

 The sad fact is that as many as one in every three children and one in eight adolescents living in the United States might have depression. This is according to a health study done in 1996. 

Another fact is that teenage girls are more likely to suffer from depression –at least according to the National Institute of Mental Health. There is also quite a bit of evidence that depression is hereditary so if you have a relative in the family with the disorder it is likely that one of your children or you may suffer from it too. 

The consequences of untreated depression in childhood can be devastating as your child grows older For one thing it is a precursor for all sorts of personality disorders and serious depression in adult hood. It also means that your child is at increased risk for such problems as addiction, alcoholism, manic depression and suicide. 

 The fact that it can be so dehabilitating when your child becomes an adult is why it is so important for parents, teachers and guardians to detect depression in children early before it becomes a chronic and self-sabotaging chronic condition that lasts a lifetime.