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Depression is a feeling of sadness for continuously long periods of time. It can occur to young and old, boy or a girl. Depression in kids leads to fall in the school performance, development of  learning disability, start taking unnecessary risk, drug and alcohol use, dropping out of school, bunking of classes, pretending and lying at school, too much interest in sex, panic disorders, development of phobias, eating habits changes, indulgence in violence and attempts suicide.

Depression is manifested by each child differently. Depression in children should be dealt with great care as they are not very good at express themselves in words. In young ones in particular, it’s first of all hard for the parents to ascertain that their child is depressed.

Symptoms of depression in 3 to 5 years are:

Behavioural and social
  • Detachment from everything
  • Always lost in own thoughts
  • Very look aggressive and high tempered and may indulge in fist fights, hitting
  • Timid or very terrified
  • Moody
  • Very irritable
  • Shy
  • A blank face with not much of expressions
  • Develop lying and stealing habits all of sudden
  • Sudden disinterest in everything that was once enjoyable
  • Preoccupied with thoughts of death and dying
  • Indulges in risks and gets into accidents and injuries
  • May self humiliate like head banging
  • Mostly hyper and out of control
  • Insecure without the parents and would not want to separate
Physical
  • Bed wetting
  • They get stomach aches, head ache without reason
  • Cramps
  • Nauseating feeling very often
  • Asthma
  • Low in energy level

Symptoms in older children

The older children include the preteen and the teenagers as well.

  • Irritated
  • Moody
  • Cynical and angry
  • Indifferent
  • Feels Lonely
  • Very dull
  • Hostile and frustrated

Symptoms in adolescents

Depressions in adolescents are easier to figure out as they are more expressive than the children. They can express their feelings in words.

  • They believe they are loved in the family
  • They think they fit in with the peers
  • Low in self confidence  and self belief – They have a very negative opinion about their intelligence, physical appearance etc
  • They suffer from insomnia or they sleep for too long but still feel tired and exhausted
  • Frequent headache
  • They neglect studies and would want to drop out. They frequently challenge the authorities at school.
  • They become violent and indulge in hitting and fighting.
  • They start lying, bunking school
  • Become overly sexual and morality levels go down
  • Detach themselves from the surroundings and people
  • Preoccupied with  strange thoughts of death, occult etc
  • They talk of committing suicide

Those parents who find their children with some or all of the above symptoms should immediately consult a doctor to get their child out of depression.

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