In today’s complex society depression among children is more prevalent than previously thought. Younger children (pre-teen) can certainly suffer depression, it is much more commonly found in teenagers. It is estimated that 10% of teenagers will develop clinical depression before the age of 17. Depression is a serious condition or illness but it can be treated.
Recognizing and treating depression in children is very important for parents because untreated depression can have lifetime repercussions. Children who struggle with depression often find feel the impact in adulthood. Some studies have shown that these children frequently experience lower incomes, lower educational levels, periods of unemployment, and social problems with family and work.
Depression is different, and more serious, than the normal “blues” that children experience periodically. Children are often sad for one reason or another but the sadness is temporary – or should be. Persistent sadness, or frequent disruptive behavior, is not normal and should be more closely examined.
The symptoms of depression can vary from child to child. And children may exhibit only a few symptoms and still be clinically depressed. So let’s take a look at some of the most common warning signs of children’s depression.
It is common for children to display different depression symptoms at different times. And a depressed child may function reasonably well in some environments such as school. But most of the time the one or more of these symptoms will be evident because the parent will see changes in social activities, loss of interest in things that were important, and or a change in physical appearance.
Should you suspect your child is depressed then take him or her to a professional for an evaluation.