Depression in Children: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Introduction

Image: Deborah 1963A few years ago, my mother unearthed some pictures of me as a baby which I had never seen before. One showed me at about eight months old, crawling on the grass of Golden Gate Park. I was looking directly at the camera, my tongue sticking out of the corner of my mouth, and I was laughing. My face was lit from within, and looked happy, confident and even a little mischievous.

I was absolutely transfixed by that photograph for days. I would continually take it out of my wallet and stare at it, torn between laughter and tears. For a while I couldn’t figure out what it was about the picture that drew me. Finally it hit me; this was the only picture of myself as a child that I had seen which showed me laughing. All the photos I had ever seen depicted a child staring solemnly or smiling diffidently, but never laughing. I looked at the Golden Gate Park picture and wished that I had remained that happy, and that depression had not taken away my childhood. Continue reading

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Being Bullied Tied to Anxiety, Depression in Special-Needs Kids

HealthDay News — Special-needs youth with chronic medical conditions or developmental disabilities are at risk for anxiety and depression if they’re excluded, ignored or bullied by other young people, a new small study says.It included 109 youngsters, ages 8 to 17, who were recruited during routine visits to a U.S. children’s hospital. The patients and their parents completed questionnaires that screen for symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the youngsters also completed a questionnaire that asked them about bullying or exclusion by their peers.

via Being Bullied Tied to Anxiety, Depression in Special-Needs Kids.

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Happy Kids a Product of Genes, Parenting, Study Finds

(HealthDay News) — As scientists continue to tease out the impact of nature versus nurture, it appears that kids unlucky enough to get a “downer” personality gene can end up with sunnier outlooks when they’re parented in a warm, positive manner.

A new study on nearly 1,900 children aged 9 through 15 with a gene variation predisposing them to lower serotonin levels in the brain — which can lead to a gloomier disposition — suggests the youths were more likely to maintain happier emotions when exposed to positive parenting. So-called “genetically susceptible” children who experienced unsupportive parenting showed fewer positive emotions in the three independent experiments comprising the study.

via Happy Kids a Product of Genes, Parenting, Study Finds.

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Kids of Moms With History of Depression Seem Less Happy

(HealthDay News) — Children who show fewer than normal signs of affection or happiness, such as smiles, laughter or hugs, might be at risk for depression, a new study suggests.

Although greater-than-normal crying and negative emotions in children can be a red flag for depression, too few demonstrations of happiness and affection could mean that children are not able to cope with bad moods well, making them more vulnerable to depressive disorders, according to researchers from the University of Michigan and the University of Pittsburgh.

via Kids of Moms With History of Depression Seem Less Happy.

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