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Signs of Childhood Depression May Surprise

depressedNew research suggests the symptoms of depression among children are often different from those displayed by adults.

German scientists discovered children may not display signs of dejection or a lack of pleasure, two cardinal signs of mood disorders among adults.

Depending on the age of the child, the dominant features of depression may be weeping, irritability or defiance.

The signs of depression in infants are often screaming, restlessness, and weeping attacks for no clear reason.

Preschool children may behave irritably and aggressively, while schoolchildren may be listless and apathetic. The symptoms in adolescents become similar to those in adults.

Authorities believe up to 3.5 percent of children and 9 percent of adolescents in industrial countries are depressive. In particular, the risk of depression increases from the age of 12.

In a third of minors, the depressive symptoms subside within three months. However, in 80 percent of those affected, the symptoms may reappear and become chronic.

Professors Mehler-Wex and Kölch of Ulm University emphasize that psychotherapy and psychosocial therapy are typically indicated. The antidepressive fluoxetine can also be used.

Patients with a severe clinical course, a difficult family background or suicidal tendencies may have to be admitted to hospital.

Depressive minors often exhibit other psychological abnormalities. Thus, anxiety disorders and disorders in social behavior occur widely, followed by substance abuse and aggression.

In summary, the causes of depression are multifactorial. The decisive factors include hereditary, personality and environmental factors, particularly in early youth.

Source: Deutsches Aerzteblatt International

Signs of Childhood Depression May Surprise

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Signs of Childhood Depression May Surprise. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 18, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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