Depression in children: symptoms, reasons, how to help

Minors rarely have the typical depressive symptoms we see in adults. The type of disease symptoms depends on the stage of development of the child. What are the symptoms of depression in children?

Symptoms of depression in a preschooler

Depression manifests itself through the appearance, the kid hunched body posture, sloppy clothes and a sad expression on his face, gives the impression of “transparency” of the child, who takes care of herself, not allowing anyone in the mood prevails apathy, drowsiness, lack of energy and irritability in the moment when the child is invited to contact, he usually spends time alone, leaves his peers, has low self-esteem, reveals fear of challenges and failures (even the smallest, for example, get dirty, incorrectly follow the order of a woman in kindergarten), weaker concentration of attention becomes, sometimes psychosomatic symptoms appear (abdominal pain, headache, constipation, diarrhea), the child may have problems falling asleep, peaceful sleep, bedwetting, appetite disorders – children lose weight or gain weight.

Symptoms of depression in a student

somatic symptoms are characteristic (abdominal pain, headache, shortness of breath), often refuses to go to school, grades deteriorate, the child seeks to be with parents, self-esteem decreases, mood swings, tearfulness and lack of expression of joy appear, children are isolated from Peers have no loved one person, apathy prevails in the mood, but some children tend to intensify aggressive behavior and opposition-rebellious tendencies.

Symptoms of depression in a teenager

In adolescents, depressive mood is to some extent associated with puberty, which is characterized by biological (mainly hormonal) and mental changes (mature processes of thinking and understanding the external world, perception of problems and limitations of oneself and one’s loved ones). This leads to the fact that the mood of the teenager is dominated by sadness, a sense of meaninglessness and pessimism.

Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between a teen’s natural mood and incipient depression. We can think of depressive disorders, when a bad mood is accompanied by low self-esteem, decreased appetite, anxiety, and manifestations of self-aggression . This often leads to problems at school, drugs, even running away from home and attempted suicide.

What are the causes of depression in the smallest

One specific cause cannot be identified that is responsible for the child’s depression. Among the factors causing the appearance of the disease:

genetic conditions and disorders of the nervous and endocrine systems, temperament and personality traits of this child, the likelihood of getting sick is more in people with traits such as sensitivity, perfectionism, pessimism, poor stress resistance, the child’s life situation and a significant impact on depression can occur: loss of a loved one due to death or separation (for example, parental divorce), family conflicts and violence, chronic illness of a parent, alcohol or substance abuse by family members, loneliness and lack of time for the child, emotional hostility and abandonment of guardians.

How to help a child with depression

Early recognition of the symptoms of depression in a child is critical. It is best to consult a psychotherapist, school psychologist or pediatrician when we notice the first symptoms of a depressed mood (apathy lasting more than two weeks, decreased activity, self-sufficiency). 

When a specialist diagnoses depression, psychotherapy is needed, often for the child and the entire family. Sometimes it becomes necessary to include pharmacotherapy (especially in adolescents with risky behavior and suicide attempts). The chances of a cure for a child’s depression are increased when family, friends, and the school environment are involved.

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