What does depression look like in children and adolescents?

Irritability, drowsiness, problems with efficient communication, emotional inaccessibility, but also self-mutilation and learning problems. These may be symptoms of depression in children and adolescents. Unfortunately, they are usually identified with rebellion, which should be suppressed, for example. Consequently, instead of receiving support, the child locks himself in his world and help becomes more and more difficult. Unfortunately, depression in children and adolescents is increasingly leading to suicide. Poland is in the infamous second place (just behind Germany) in Europe among countries with the largest number of juvenile suicides. Depression is the third cause of death among young people, after homicides and car accidents.

Children, loneliness, irritability ...

It is children, just after 60-70-year-olds, who are the most vulnerable social group to depression. Of course, soul disease occurs regardless of age, but there are times in life when we are particularly vulnerable.

In a 30-person class, on average 1 person suffers from mood disorders.

It is worth pointing out at the outset that depression is not a temporary drop in mood but a prolonged persistent sadness and hopelessness. It is observed most of the day. In addition, there is also a lack in behavior feeling pleasure, excitement and joy. A child with depression is difficult to please, hardly enjoys it ...

It is worth emphasizing that in the case of teenagers, sadness often takes the form irritability.

What are the symptoms of depression in children and adolescents?

The child does not know that he is depressed. It thinks it's just hopeless, it doesn't fit anywhere.

Depression in children and adolescents can give different symptoms:

  • in some people it will increase in weight, in others it will decrease,
  • drowsiness in some people, insomnia in others,
  • on the one hand irritability, agitation, on the other hand - on the contrary - a decrease in activity, trouble getting out of bed, any activity,
  • a child with depression has low self-esteem,
  • faces excessive guilt,
  • has cognitive impairment, a child with depression begins to learn less well,
  • a decrease in interest is observed,
  • the child causes educational problems,
  • depression often leads to addiction. It also happens that addictions lead to depression (the use of stimulants often causes brain damage).
  • the child self-mutilates to gain control over the pain of existence for a moment,
  • the child thinks that he is worthless, doesn't fit anywhere,
  • a depressed child thinks the world is bad and people are a threat,
  • may not believe in a better tomorrow (if this is the case, the risk of suicide is greater. It also increases if the child is talking about suicide or is trying to take his own life). Suicidal thoughts usually occur in the evening.

Will your child get depression?

According to WHO, Children who have negative childhood experiences are primarily at risk of depression. Psychological violence and emotional neglect are particularly dangerous in this respect. Children who do not feel loved enough are several times more likely to attempt suicide and decide to self-mutilation. Additionally depression can trigger excessive demands at home, criticism, unpleasant experience in a peer group.

The fact that the risk of falling ill in some groups is greater does not mean that a child growing up in a loving, vulnerable family will not get depressed. Unfortunately, even in very good families it is possible.

It is also worth adding that the tendency to develop depression is genetically transmitted. When depression activates as a result of favorable conditions, unfortunately, the tendency to it stays with the child for life.

As many as 17% of people will experience depression during their lives.

How to bear a child with depression?

Unfortunately, punishing child's unpleasant behavior is nowhere. It will not allow you to minimize them, especially if their cause is depression.

Only therapy, personal skills training, pharmacology can help, and in extreme cases stay in the hospital (to ensure the child's safety). Unfortunately, the treatment is usually long and difficult. Requires lots of patience from all family members.