Children and Depression
Even though the medical circles have known about childhood depression for quite some time now, they have only recently begun noticing depression at very early age. Namely, children in preschool, who are even younger than 6 tend to express certain signs of depression if exposed to certain causes of it. However, this was not visible before since we had not been paying attention to the different symptoms which affect the youngest among us. While in adults, depression results in a decrease of the libido, small children experience lack of desire towards playing and having fun.
Moreover, there are cases where children have bouts of sadness between series of normal behavior, making this problem hard to notice and, thereby, treat on time. Nevertheless, these behavioral changes can easily evolve into a full depression when the child grows up or grows older. Therefore, adequate treatment should be provided as soon as the symptoms of childhood depression get noticed.
Symptoms of Depression in Young Children
One of the first and most prominent signs of depression with preschool children is overly apologetic behavior, excess of fears or even phobias, regression and many other signs which should be looked for and, when noticed, treated. Depressed children of this age are often irritable and complain about some kind of physical pain, exhaustion, fatigue or other things which seem to be without logical basis to the parent or the caretaker. Also, avoiding socializing with other children or participating in regular childhood activities like playing and having fun are also common signs of this problem. Anger issues, bouts of crying and an overall negativity followed by a strong sense of worthlessness and rejection add on to the list.
Finally, depressed children may have problems with sleeping or may suffer from a lack of appetite.
These signs may take place individually or in a group, more than one manifesting at the same time. Therefore, you need to pay attention to your child's behavior, dealing with depression as soon as it becomes visible in your little one.
Treatment for Childhood Depression
The best thing to do, once you notice the symptoms mentioned above, or any other forms of unusual behavior in your child, is to take the child to a professional child psychologist or a school psychiatrist as well as to some person with similar expertise.
There, after being carefully examined, the best treatment for their depression will be prescribed, usually involving certain lifestyle changes. Also, there are some new treatments for childhood depression which hold great promise. These are based on the Parent Child Interaction Therapy and the child's emotional development, correcting negative factors related to and causing depression in children.