according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.4% of children (or approximately 2.7 million) ages 3 to 17 were diagnosed with depression between 2016 and 2019. Depression is a mood disorder that primarily includes low mood, sadness, lack of motivation to do anything, and loss of interest. Understanding the main causes of childhood depression is essential to providing children with the necessary care and support in their recovery from this condition.
The main causes of childhood depression
physical health Chronic or severe health conditions, including obesity, can make a child vulnerable to depression. Extreme conditions can be too much for anyone to bear and plunge the child into a low mood.
situational – Stressful life events or significant changes in circumstances related to parents, peers, or friends can cause a child to become depressed and moody.
environment – A stressful or chaotic home life can stress a child. Such an environment includes abuse, poor living conditions, or a lot of disagreement between parents.
family history If someone in the previous generation or the child’s immediate family had a mood disorder at an early age, it is likely that the condition was caused by this family history, among other factors.
genetic weakness Some people may be genetically predisposed to depression due to brain chemistry or other factors that may make them susceptible to the disorder.
biochemical imbalance – Serotonin, dopamine or norepinephrine affect feelings of happiness and pleasure. These neurotransmitters (chemical transmitters of the body and brain) may be out of balance in people with depression. An imbalance may lead to depression, but its effect is not fully understood.
How do you know if a child suffers from depression?
Signs of childhood depression are similar to those of adult depression in the general population. Some of the symptoms to look for include:-
Low mood or sadness.
Loss of interest in all activities,
Low energy or tiredness.
Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
– crying and defiance,
– irregular sleep and appetite,
Social isolation or antisocial behaviour.
If any of these symptoms, especially low mood, sadness and loss of interest in activities, persist for more than two weeks, the child in question is likely to be depressed. However, it is recommended that no action be taken until an official diagnosis has been given.
Read more: Can natural remedies help with depression?
How do you take care of a child with depression?
A depressed child needs special care. The first step is to get a formal diagnosis and start a treatment plan. Having this disorder in childhood means that the child is susceptible to more mental health conditions or may lack the basic skills and aptitude required to fit in with society.
If these children are not given proper care at the right time, their quality of life can be greatly affected. Upon succumbing to this condition, many children also have thoughts about self-harm and suicide and are overly critical of themselves. You can show the child support, try to understand how he is feeling, and help him cope with the mood disorder to help.
Depression is a mood disorder consisting primarily of a bad mood and a lack of motivation or interest in doing anything. Many children have clinically diagnosed depression but do not get the necessary or timely help to overcome the condition. To identify these children, you can examine them for symptoms of depression. The main causes of depression can help healthcare professionals and societies create environments that help develop better mental health. But to do so, there is a need to spread awareness of mental health among the public. On this note, here is a file 22 best mental health awareness blogs to keep you informed.