Depression in childhood and adolescence It is a fairly frequent problem that has been increasing in recent years and has a profound impact on their future personal development. According to University of Navarra Clinic (CUN), about 5% of children and adolescents will have an episode of depression before reaching the age of 19.
The reasons that trigger this disorder can be diverse but, in any case, this problem must be evaluated by professionals and treated appropriately so that it does not perpetuate over time and lead to other problems or harmful behaviors.
What triggers depression in children?
According to the Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP), biological factors often have a large influence, that is, the probability that a minor has depression is multiplied if one of their parents has suffered from it.
Other factors that contribute to the development of depressive episodes are related to the loss of close people, bullying or bullying, or if there are problems of family disruption, among others.
In this sense, there are different mood disorders that can affect childhood, such as major depression; dysthymia, which refers to a lighter but longer-lasting state of depression, or bipolarity. Therefore, “it is essential that parents know the symptoms of depression in children, let them know that it is not their fault, and that it is a disease that has a very effective treatment “, highlights the doctor Pilar de Castro, specialist of the Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology of the CUN.
How can we identify it?
What are the warning signs to know if a child is suffering from depression? What must be considered? It usually manifests itself through episodes of irritability, anger, sadness or frequent crying. It is also common for feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, tiredness or lack of energy to appear. Other signs that show this problem, according to the experts, are the following:
- Difficulty having fun with activities you used to do.
- Social isolation and lack of communication.
- Guilty feeling.
- Recurring absences from school.
- Low self-esteem.
- Complaints about physical problems such as headaches, stomachaches, or nausea.
- Lack of concentration.
- Sleep and eating disorder.
- Suicidal thoughts or expressions.
It is essential to go to professionals to assess the child’s condition and make a diagnosis if he presents any or more of these symptoms, especially if they last over time. “Specific techniques, both verbal and non-verbal, should be used, due to the existence of cognitive and verbalization limitations in this age group “, adds the expert in psychology.