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Children of as young as five are being treated for depression in Great Britain, according to the BBC. In Sussex, a county in south-east England, over a 1,000 children at in therapy, while Prozac prescriptions are being handed out to minors in Oxfordshire and Berkshire in increasing quantities. What is making these children so depressed? Is it really possible to diagnose a five-year old with depression? While British Members of Parliament are trying to tackle the problem by spending more on "mental health teams", experts in the field suggest that the recent recession and the kids' parents stress over finances, unemployment, and the accompanying alcohol and drug abuse fuel depression in children.

The BBC report on depressed kids also gives a few examples of cases the mental health teams are dealing with. The descriptions are, in my mind, fairly typical of normal children at various stages of development. One mom says that her son has separation anxiety, while another is talking about her child throwing stuff and having tantrums. A spokesperson for the mental health charity Young Minds, said: "Intervening early when a child or young person starts struggling to cope is proven to reduce the likelihood of that young person developing much more severe and entrenched mental health problems. It is vital that we invest in children and young people's mental health in order to prevent a generation of children suffering entrenched mental health problems as adults.

" Sure, early intervention may well make sure some kids have a happy life. The report also mentioned that one in ten youngsters between the ages of 10 and 16 has a diagnosable mental health problem, and giving them the support and treatment they need is wonderful. But is anyone else just a little skeptical about slapping a depression diagnosis on a five year old? Also see: Can daily walks treat depression?

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