Childhood Depression Symptom - Common Signs in Children

A childhood depression symptom or sign which appears in one particular kid may not necessarily apply to other children. This is because each child has his or her own way of expressing depressive moods. Some children might exhibit excessive crying and angry behavioral patterns, while others might exhibit shyness and withdrawal from familiar family members and sad, silent behavior.

Therefore, one must be careful while observing children suspected of having depression. Any deviation from normal behavior that lasts for over two weeks is an indication that one should look for further signs and symptoms of depression. Excessive changes in moods as well as feeling sad and hopeless characterize depression. If these potential childhood depression symptoms are noticed, one must certainly keep a watchful eye and seek help immediately if necessary.

Described below are some of the childhood depression symptoms demonstrated by children suffering from the condition:

  • Anger, rebellious attitude, and highly irritable behavior patterns, triggered by some really insignificant issues.

  • Withdrawal from some favorite activities, including games, toys, watching TV, etc.

  • Significant changes in eating and sleeping patterns - loss of appetite in some children, or increased appetite in the rest. Similarly, increased or decreased sleep hours for over two weeks.

  • Inability to concentrate, accompanied by feeling tired and fatigued.

  • Crying spells that go beyond the normal duration of time.

  • Highly sensitive and nurses feelings of rejection, especially by friends and family.

  • Low grades and inability to cope with academic activities.

  • Physiological problems, like aches and pains, which are not reduced with treatment or medication.

  • Unexplained fears and thoughts of suicide; this is probably the most serious childhood depression symptom.

Most kids do not exhibit all the mentioned childhood depression symptoms, but certainly demonstrate some of them on a regular basis. Parents should encourage children to speak up and ascertain specific thoughts that are bothering them, since they will talk if questioned gently. Answers given should be noted and shared with the therapist, who will be able to diagnose the problem accurately.

Children can also be encouraged to draw and color freehand so that they get a chance to express their feelings freely. These drawings, too, can be shown to the child psychologist, who can interpret the same and arrive at a diagnosis. Often, children are asked to write stories, or tell stories, so that they can reveal any underlying problem or issue. It then becomes quite easy for medical professionals to assess the condition and the severity of the same.

Fear is a large factor that could contribute to depression in children. Therefore, children should be encouraged and not punished when they speak.

Parents should ensure that children do not watch disturbing programs on TV and play games that propagate violence, and instead generally encourage them to play children’s games and watch kids’ programs. Certain disturbing events, programs, movies, and stories create fear in young minds and these fears stick on, causing nightmares, disrupting sleep patterns and developing a negative stream of thought in their heads.

Family has a huge role to play in a child’s life. Therefore, adults should ensure they do not argue or fight in front of children. Children tend to blame themselves and all these events contribute to their depressive moods. With increasing incidents of child abuse, parents should constantly monitor children and ensure that they are well supervised and protected in public places.

Depression is treatable, curable, and one can completely recover from being depressed. However, prevention is always better than cure. Nurturing children in a safe and secure environment will ensure that they never experience depression, especially during their growing up years. And if potential childhood depression symptoms are spotted, the situation should be dealt with as soon as possible.


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    Related Pages on Children / Childhood Depression
    Depression in Children - An Overview of Childhood Depression
    Common Depression Signs in Children
    Suicide in Depressed Children - A Discussion
    Childhood Depression Treatment - Treating Affected Children




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