Facts About Depression in Children
Although its extent is unknown, most specialists believe that childhood depression can be as severe as the adult form. Recognizing depression in pre-adolescent children can be difficult. However, any significant, persistent change in a child’s normal behavior can signal the possibility of depression.
Common warning signs: sad expressions; a desire to be alone (refusal to go to school, participate in group activities or to play with friends); changes in eating or sleeping habits; poor concentration, decline in school work; references to death or suicide (there is a growing recognition that children as young as five or six can have suicidal thoughts); or aggressive behavior.
A thorough examination by a child psychiatrist, psychologist or child mental health team can determine if a child is depressed. Such an evaluation is important because depressed children may grow up to be depressed adults, unless they are treated.
Copyright © 11/13/2009 Athena Goodlight (Healthmad)