Children also suffer from depression at times. Childhood depression is different from the normal "blues" and everyday emotions that occur as a child develops. If the sadness becomes persistent, or interferes with normal social activities, interests, school work, or family life, it may indicate that he or she has a depressive illness. Keep in mind that while depression is a serious illness, it is also a treatable one.  

Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life is known as depression.

  • Possible causes include a combination of biological, psychological and social sources of distress.Increasingly, research suggests that these factors may cause changes in brain function, including altered activity of certain neural circuits in the brain. 
  • The persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest that characterizes major depression can lead to a range of behavioural and physical symptoms. These may include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, daily behaviour or self-esteem. Depression can also be associated with thoughts of suicide.·       
  • The mainstay of treatment is usually medication, talk therapy or a combination of the two.Increasingly, research suggests that these treatments may normalize brain changes associated with depression.

Signs of Depression in children

The symptoms of depression in children vary. It is often not diagnosed and untreated because they are passed off as normal emotional and psychological changes that occur during growth. The primary symptoms of depression revolve around sadness, a feeling of hopelessness, and mood changes. Signs and symptoms of depression in children include:

  • Irritability or anger 
  • Continuous feelings of sadness and hopelessness 
  • Social withdrawal
  • Increased sensitivity to rejection 
  • Changes in appetite - either increased or decreased
  • Changes in sleep - sleeplessness or excessive sleep
  • Vocal outbursts or crying 
  • Difficulty in concentrating 
  • Fatigue and low energy 
  • Physical complaints (such as stomachaches, headaches) that don't respond to treatment
  • Reduced ability to function during events and activities at home or with friends, in school, extracurricular activities, and in other hobbies or interests

Not all children have all of these symptoms. Although some children may continue to function reasonably well in structured environments, most kids with significant depression will suffer a noticeable change in social activities, loss of interest in school and poor academic performance, or a change in appearance.