This might come as a surprise to some of you but children can experience depression as well as adolescents and adults. For some children it is not ‘just a phase they are going through’ and these parents need to know what to look for.
It is interesting to note that there wasn’t even an official diagnosis for childhood depression until 1980, even though there was significant research into depression in children in the 1950s. A young pediatrician called Leon Cytryn was researching the frequency of sadness and withdrawal he observed in boys admitted to hospital for surgery. He discovered that almost half of them had symptoms, which would have been associated with adult depression.
Sadness versus depression
To clarify here it is important to note that sadness can be a healthy and normal response when the child is upset, for example when their grandfather has just died or their pet has run away. If this sadness however is observed as a continuous state in the child’s day-to-day experience then we need to look at the potential for childhood depression.
Seeing the signs [Read more…] about Depression – Is My Child Depressed?