Why Do Children Become Depressed?
According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, children can suffer from depression.Depression, caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain, is a treatable mental illness.
According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, children who are stressed, who have recently experienced the loss of a loved one, or who suffer from attention, learning, conduct, or anxiety disorders are at a higher risk of depression. Having a parent or family member with depression also increases the risk.
Warning signs that your child may be suffering from depression include physical signs like uncontrollable crying, complaints of stomach aches, loss of appetite, and sleeping difficulties. Headaches, social isolation, reckless behavior, and frequent school absences that continue for at least two weeks and interfere with your child’s daily activities are signs that your child should be evaluated by a doctor.
Have your child evaluated by her pediatrician. Rule out any other medical reasons for depression such as thyroid disease or a virus. Inform your pediatrician about any family history of mental illness and what symptoms your child is experiencing.
After an evaluation is made by a mental health professional, medication and therapy are usually prescribed. The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry says a combination of family and individual counseling, along with an antidepressant, is the proper treatment for clinical depression in children.
The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry warns that the risk of suicide is greater in children who are suffering from depression. The risks of alcohol and substance abuse are also greater in depressed children.