What Is Depression?
Depression is a type of mood disorder that causes children to be sad,
discouraged, or irritable.
2-3% of children ages 6-12 may have serious depression
Over 2 million children between the ages of 6-17 have major suicidal thoughts annually.
6-8% of teens may have serious depression
Best Friend: Lil' Bud and Mr. P.
Hobbies: At sundown coiling up and napping in a cool damp place
Favorite Movie: Jungle Book
Favorite Vacation Spot: Jungles or swamps
Favorite Quote: “Forget about your worries and your Strife!”
Children with depression often tend to be critical of themselves and others, and may frequently express dissatisfaction.
There are two major forms of depression: endogenous and exogenous.
Endogenous depression occurs seemingly without a specific cause and is believed to be influenced by chemical and/or genetic factors. It is frequently accompanied by feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and an inability to find enjoyment in normally pleasurable activities. On the other hand, exogenous, or reactive, depression is typically triggered by various forms of stress, such as the loss of one or both parents, a close family member, or a friend. Examples of stressors that can lead to depression include parental divorce, frequent arguments, loud confrontations, changing schools, or relocating. In exogenous depression, the world may seem dark and gloomy due to circumstances in the child's life, while in endogenous depression, the world may appear dark and gloomy due to internal factors.
Depression can disrupt energy levels, concentration, sleep patterns, and appetite. Children with depression may struggle to muster the effort needed to engage in activities they once enjoyed. Some find it challenging to exert effort, even in activities they previously found pleasurable. Depression can lead children to feel worthless, rejected, or unlovable. It can magnify everyday problems, making them seem more daunting than they actually are. In severe cases, depression can lead children to contemplate self-harm or suicide. They may experience feelings of worthlessness, rejection, or a lack of love. Depression can potentially culminate in suicidal thoughts or actions.
Depression symptoms can range from mild to severe and may encompass:
Feeling sad or experiencing a persistently low mood
Loss of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyed activities
Changes in appetite, resulting in either weight loss or gain unrelated to dietary changes
Sleep disturbances, including trouble falling asleep or sleeping excessively
Decreased energy levels or heightened fatigue
Heightened, purposeless physical activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing)
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
Difficulty with concentration, decision-making, or clear thinking
Thoughts of death or suicide.
"What's normal and what's not:
It can be difficult to tell the difference between ups and downs that are just part of being a teenager and teen depression. Talk with your teen. Try to determine whether he or she seems capable of managing challenging feelings, or if life seems overwhelming.
When to see a doctor:
If depression signs and symptoms continue, begin to interfere in your teen's life, or cause you to have concerns about suicide or your teen's safety, talk to a doctor or a mental health professional trained to work with adolescents. Your teen's family doctor or pediatrician is a good place to start. Or your teen's school may recommend someone.
Depression symptoms likely won't get better on their own — and they may get worse or lead to other problems if untreated. Depressed teenagers may be at risk of suicide, even if signs and symptoms don't appear to be severe.
If you're a teen and you think you may be depressed — or you have a friend who may be depressed — don't wait to get help. Talk to a health care provider such as your doctor or school nurse. Share your concerns with a parent, a close friend, a spiritual leader, a teacher or someone else you trust."
The MircleKid website is not providing any treatment information. We are only providing information about medical conditions.
Treatment advice needs to be provided only by YOUR treating physician.