Childhood Depression and Anxiety: Time to Seek Professional Help

A sad little girl crying and holding onto her mother

Childhood depression and anxiety are often overlooked. A widely held belief that children could not be depressed has recently been contradicted by the American Psychiatric Association. Depression and anxiety in childhood is usually focused on a single subject. This can cause much stress and disturbance in their lives.

Childhood depression is an overwhelming sadness that envelops your child every day for weeks or even months. It is a paralyzing lack of joy that prevents them from enjoying their life or family. Childhood depression is an urgent mental health issue. There is strong research to suggest that children can be buffered against developing depression by learning how to successfully process and manage adversity such as frustrations and disappointments.

Childhood depression is largely marked by the same diagnostic criteria as adult depression. However, it is only in the last thirty years that mainstream psychiatry has accepted childhood depression as a valid diagnostic category

Symptoms include looking and feeling constantly unhappy, crying a lot or being quiet and withdrawn. But the vast majority of children can be helped. Symptoms of depression are different with kids than they are with adults. The National Institute of mental health advises parents and professionals to be vigilant of the following: pretending to be sick, school refusal or fear of a parent dying.

Treatment requires the involvement of the parents. The comprehensive treatment is individual and family work. Treatment options for children with depression are similar to those for adults, including psychotherapy (counseling) and medicine. The role that family and the child’s environment play in the treatment process is different from that of adults.

Health care facilities and schools will allocate space for free depression screenings by psychiatrists and other mental health professionals. They will be assisted by the Green Ribbon Power Force, a group of cooperating hospitals and affiliated institutions. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional.

Adults tend to view children as mere children whose emotional development is still on the way. However, it is best for parents, caregivers and teachers to take note of symptoms on childhood depression and anxiety.

Adults tend to view children as mere children whose emotional development is still on the way. However, it is best for parents, caregivers and teachers to take note of symptoms on childhood depression. Adults too, can gather more information and advice before deciding it’s time to seek professional help.

About The Author

Beatrice Brown is a clinical nurse,life coach and author, her Blog -Take Care of Baby, The ups & downs of parenting, Please come and visit and leave a comment at http://childcare.about.com/

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