June 17, 2011

Symptoms of Childhood Depression

child stressChildhood depression comes with its own unique symptoms that are both similar and different than the presentation of depression in adults. Although it can be more difficult to diagnose depression in children as children are often not aware of how to effectively display their feelings and emotions there are many signs and symptoms that parents and other caregivers can watch for to reduce the implications of depression and reduce the symptoms that are associated with the diagnosis.

Some of the common symptoms of childhood depression include:

- Irritability is one of the most common signs of depression in children, especially if there is little cause for the irritability and a sudden onset. The child may begin to lash out at the parents, at school or at their siblings. This is often one of the first signs that can be noticed and is often noticed when this is out of character for the child suffering from depression.

- A loss of interest in the activities that the child usually enjoys or takes part in. This loss of interest may occur suddenly and can be an indication of depression when combined with other symptoms that are associated with depression.

- A change in the attitude of the child. This change often occurs suddenly and can be associated with some of the triggers or risk factors that are associated with childhood depression.

- Changes in the weight of the child. This can often be indicated in the increase or the decrease of the weight of the child and can indicate a mood problem or disorder within the child, including depression.

It is important to recognize the symptoms of childhood depression but it is also important to be aware of the risk factors that are inherent with childhood depression. Here are some of the risk factors that can trigger the symptoms of depression in childhood:

- The death of a parent can be a trigger for depression in a child as they are unsure about how to effectively deal with the feelings of grief that can come about through the situation.

- Emotional turmoil through the education system or through clubs or groups that the child is participating in.

- A low self worth or a low self esteem can leave a child vulnerable to developing childhood depression.

It is important to realize that there are a variety of treatment options that are available for childhood depression. Here are some of the common treatments that are associated with childhood depression:

Medical treatments are a common suggestion for children that are suffering from depression. In many cases, the dosages of hormones within the medications are able to regulate the body and therefore the symptoms of the depression can often become reduced.

Behavior therapy and talk therapy are two of the most common treatments for depression in children as well as depression through adolescence. Through these types of therapy which can potentially decrease the need for medications to treat the depression the patient is able to talk through the anxiety and depression and learn valuable coping methods that can be used through depression.

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