Before talking about childhood depression symptoms we would like to draw your attention to difference between sadness and depression. Sadness is a natural feeling. We feel it, when we loose our friends and loved ones. We feel it, when we have problems at work or at home. We cannot protect ourselves from it, but, if we feel sad for a long period of time, it is not natural. It is not sadness any more. It is depression. If you think, you or somebody in your family suffers from depression, you should ask for help of a health professional. If your child exhibits signs of this disorder, early diagnosis is very important. Consult a professional specializing in childhood depression treatment. A plan of comprehensive treatment includes laboratory and psychological tests, monitoring, psychotherapy and medication.
Childhood depression is no less serious than depression in adults. But childhood depression symptoms are unique in some way. This mental and psychological disorder is usually associated with learning and school performance problems, truancy, leaving school, disruptive behavior and violence, delinquency, phobias and thoughts of suicide, different types of abuse, panic and eating disorder. Childhood depression symptoms can be different depending on age. And we should remember it is harder for small children to express feelings and translate them into words. Let us consider signs of childhood depression.
Children from 3 to 5 years old
A detached or spacey look, sadness, aggressive behavior, a timid appearance, irritation and grumpiness are main symptoms of childhood depression in this age. They can start steal, fight or lie. As for physical symptoms, they are bellyache, headache, asthma, nightmares and problems with sleep, fatigue, sickness and fits, wetting a bed. If you noticed these signs, talk to your child. However, it is better to consult a professional, because children of this age cannot translate feelings into thoughts properly. Children suffering from depression are not interested in thing they liked before. They may be beyond control or listless. Brutal things may attract them and they may tend towards self-endangering. Such children may be difficult to becalm when they are separated from parents. If you have noticed these childhood depression symptoms consult a health professional immediately.
Preteens and teens
Grumpiness, apathy, irritation, cynicism, a gloomy look, continual sadness, angry appearance and feeling of loneliness are the most common childhood depression symptoms at this age.
Depressed adolescent perfectly translates his feelings in thoughts and it helps very much in childhood depression treatment. As for physical signs, they are headache, insomnia, problems with sleep, fatigue, exhaustion. They may complain on these problems and as a result, disorder may be diagnosed earlier. As for emotions, childhood depression symptoms are negative attitude to own abilities, intelligence and appearance. Depressed adolescents think nobody loves and accepts them. Their thoughts may be self-deprecating.
At the same time adolescents suffering from depression may be very aggressive, they may lie, steal and shirk school. Their behavior may become immoral. Moreover, their attitude to school and teachers may change. They may start thinking they get nothing there. They may say rude thing to teachers and parents. These are also childhood depression symptoms. Adolescents do not think about consequences of such behavior. They withdraw from friends and relatives and do not want to talk with them. Preoccupation with morbid and brutal things, thoughts of suicide, loose f interest in things they liked earlier are also common childhood depression symptoms at this age.
If you think your child has childhood depression symptoms or other emotional problems associated with it, you should ask for help of the health professional.