How to tell if your child may be suffering from depression

Last year over 2.3 million kids suffered with severe depression, Mental Health America said

Dealing with Depression in Kids

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – During COVID-19, parents have carried heavy burdens of stress and responsibility -- worrying about themselves but also watching their children struggle.

There is a growing worldwide concern about depression and suicide among our youngest population. But the signs of depression in children can be different than those in teenagers and adults.

Joan Luby, MD, says that “depression can rise as early as age three.”

Pandemic isolation, struggling with virtual schooling, and family-related stress all contributed to a rise in mental health concerns for children. According to Mental Health America, last year over 2.3 million kids suffered with severe depression.

“The thing that we have to look for are age-adjusted manifestation of those symptoms,” Luby further explains.

Symptoms of depression in youth include being persistently sad or irritable over several weeks, sleep disturbances, fatigue, no longer enjoying the things they use to enjoy, not being motivated to engage in activity, expressing negativity toward themselves or others, and discussing thoughts of death.

Luby recommends “parents to be very aware of their child’s emotional state.”

If you notice these signs in your child, get help immediately. Also spend more time outside, take walks, play outdoor games and get them involved in social activities.

Depression may be more treatable early in life during a time of rapid brain development and developmental change. Early treatment can help to avoid relapses, personality and medical disorders later in life.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/01/well/family/depression-young-children.html https://mhanational.org/issues/2021/mental-health-america-youth-data#:~:text=Nevada-,Youth%20with%20At%20Least%20One%20Major%20Depressive%20Episode%20(MDE,in%20the%20Past%20Year%202021&text=13.84%25%20of%20youth%20(age%2012,into%20adulthood%20if%20gone%20untreated, https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/02/02/962060105/child-psychiatrists-warn-that-the-pandemic-may-be-driving-up-kids-suicide-risk https://www.verywellmind.com/the-diagnostic-and-statistical-manual-dsm-2795758

Contributor(s) to this news report include: Jenna Ehlrich, Producer; Robert Walko, Videographer and Editor. To receive a free weekly email on Smart Living from Ivanhoe, sign up at: http://www.ivanhoe.com/ftk


About the Authors:

David Sears, a native San Antonian, has been at KSAT for more than 20 years.