It is unusual for children to suffer from 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 at an early age.
Unfortunately depression in children is not often seen for what it really is. The feelings of fatigue that go with it can be perceived as laziness. The lack of motivation is often perceived as stupidity or stubbornness. Children also either overeat or undereat just like adults when they are depressed and they develop a dislike of socializing and exercise.
If not treated depression can lead to failing grades, violence, alcohol, drug use and obesity. Here are some ways to detect the symptoms of depression in your child.
A child with depression â€“
Â· Refuses to wear clothes that do not cover all of the body
Â· May insist on wearing the same thing every day
Â· Covers his or her eyes with hair
Â· Refuses to look anyone in the eye
Â· Is possessive of toys and food
Â· Is easily agitated and irritated
Â· Prefers to watch videogames or watch television all day
Â· Falls asleep at school
Â· Has difficulty falling asleep at night
Â· Wakes at five am in the morning and is sleep deprived all day
Â· Has difficulty making decisions
Â· Loses interest in favorite toys or activities
Â· Feels guilty even if she or she has done nothing wrong
Â· Complains of vague physical complaints like headaches and stomach aches
Â· Lack of enthusiasm in general
Â· Talks obsessively about death or suicide
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. Thesis according to a health study done in 1996 and the number of depressed children and adolescents has probably risen since the specter of terrorism was unleashed as the result of 9-11.
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.
Some other facts about children and depression are:
Teenage girls are more likely than teenage boys to develop depression (according to the National Institute of Mental Health.)
Children who have parents with the disorder are more likely to develop some form of depression (National Institute of Mental Health)
Four out of five runaway/homeless street youth suffer from depression (according to the U.S. Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families)
The consequences of depression in childhood can be very severe. For one thing it is a precursor for all sorts of personality disorders and serious depression in adult hood. It also indicates that the child is at increase risk for such problems as addiction, alcoholism, manic depression and suicide. This is one of the reasons 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 last throughout the victim's entire life.