Child and teen depression is serious and often goes untreated. Symptoms might be overlooked or minimized as part of growing up or something that will just pass away with time.
Depression has a negative impact on childrens development, school performance, and relationships. Children and adolescents with depression feel sad or hopeless. They might be angry or easily irritated. They may lose interest and enthusiasm for things they once enjoyed. They may feel bad about themselves and lack confidence. Some complain of stomach aches, headaches, or some other physical discomforts. Sometimes there are changes in their eating habits or sleeping patterns. Hopeless and suicidal thoughts can also afflict them. Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of suicide among youth. Depression in children and teens can be destructive or fatal. Untreated, it can lead to unhealthy and dysfunctional patterns of coping such as withdrawal, isolation, bullying, delinquency, drug use, promiscuity, self-injury, or self-destruction.
Up to 15% of children and adolescents have symptoms of depression at any given time, and 5% meet the criteria for major depressive disorder. Depression can be caused by hormonal changes or a chemical imbalance in the brain. It may have a genetic component, running in families for generations. It commonly occurs when triggered by stressful life events, such as a major loss or change. Losing someone to death or separation, changing homes or schools, divorce, physical or emotional abuse, teasing, bullying, rejection, and physical illness are common triggers to depression and its symptoms.
Depression is treatable. Child and teen depression therapy has been found to be effective in helping children and adolescents overcome the symptoms of depression. With counseling, children and teens soon learn that their feelings can change. There is hope for their future. Life can and will get better. They discover that there are some things they can do to better cope with the problems they encounter. The can talk about their frustration, fears, pain, and anger. Getting help at an early onset of depression or while young can help prevent future problems and foster healthy growth and development that will carry on for a lifetime.
Copyright © 2009 All Rights Reserved. Krystal Kuehn co-founder of NewDayCounseling.org, Counseling service providers of Child and Teen Depression Therapy and Marriage Family Counseling