Childhood Depression: Even Kids Have Down Days
One of the most crippling malaises attacking the youth of today is Childhood Depression. The sufferer has to deal with this great personal change along with a range of other pressures linked to growing up throughout adolescence. This type of disorder has been known to affect decision-making and how one handles responsibilities. It later affects trust and socializing skills that may or may not compound into other areas, specifically relationships, though the depression abates.
Childhood Depression is a common but serious mental illness recognizably marked by sad or anxious feelings. This makes it difficult to determine if a sufferer does have the disorder or not since almost all adolescents are typically sad or depressed. Others do not seek help since they think it is normal at a time when they are trying hard to fit in and find their way like the other children who surround them daily. The stresses of school and being a teen mentally prohibits them from wanting to stand out if they seek much needed mental health care.
The symptoms to identify if you have clinical depression are: Sadness - Anxiety - Emptiness - Hopelessness -Guilt - Worthlessness - Helplessness - Irritability - Restlessness.
Many parents today tend to escalate these feelings into full-blown depression by smothering the child. Adolescents experience the need for independence though many are yet unready for it. Giving in to the smothering is to admit surrender in the mind of the victim and could affect the rest of his or her life.
Childhood Depression reflects in certain situations such as:
Lack of energy
Loss of interest in previously known enjoyable activities
Problems with sleep
Problems with appetite; lack of or overeating
Physical problems such as headaches, cramps, digestive problems that persist
When caught at an early stage, Childhood Depression may start as a mild, chronic depression, also known as Dysthmic Disorder or Dysthymia. It is a less severe form of depression that can still interfere with daily activities.
A Major Depressive Disorder (M.D.D.) may also occur among Dysthymia victims but are easier to spot as the symptoms to such a Childhood Depression is more severe. Bouts of major depression disable and interfere with studying, eating and sleeping. Unfortunately, the M.D.D. victim will be hostile if provoked to seek help. This leaves the parents helpless in the wake of M.D.D. outbursts.
Even more severe than this is Psychotic Depression that has risen in recent years. It leads the victim to suffer hallucinations, delusions and other forms of psychosis. This has led more than a few individuals to crime and hostile relationships and should be watched out for.
An oddity is Seasonal Affective Disorder, which begins during the winter months and lifts between springtime to summer. It has been known that this type is affected by the colors and experiences surrounding the individual.
Behaviorists advocate that a change of scenery or activity will improve depression. Clinical studies have shown positive results from the use of neural inhibitors available over the counter as antidepressants.
The causes of Childhood Depression are still vague but are definitely centered on daily activities and experiences. There are studies on the genetics of the matter but these are still inconclusive. It is wise then for parents to pay attention to their child and use their better judgment until certain of a medical need.