This is a part of a series of blog posts from members of the newly-created LifeSpring Brand Ambassadors program. Staff members in this program will write about a topic they are passionate about relating to LifeSpring and/or mental health.
MAD or SAD?
Understanding Depression in Children
Depression is defined as “feelings of severe despondency and dejection.” If you asked the average American, most could identify knowing someone who is depressed or being depressed themselves. However, many are unaware that symptoms of depression in children can be very different.
Children are not “smaller adults” which is a common misconception. Depression often presents in children in the form of anger. Many parents and teacher think “This is one angry kid!” This confusion can often lead to misdiagnoses and children not getting the help they need.
Symptoms of depression in children can include the typical depressed mood, isolation, and crying spells. However, it can also include inattention, difficulty concentrating, sleep disruption, irritability, anger/verbal outbursts, sensitivity, and eating disturbances. Depression is becoming more prevalent in those under the age of 18. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry “2 % of young children and 8% of adolescents suffer from depression.” These children can be classified as moody, irresponsible, and trouble makers and go without the treatment warranted and needed.
So remember, sad and mad are not just rhyming words. They could also be the telltale signs of children in need of treatment for depression.
Susan Bugh, LCSW