The depression in children it is a problem that is increasing day by day in developed societies. Not only does it affect the mood of a greater number of adults, but the number of children suffering from this disorder has also grown. Represents 15% of the reason for consultation in child psychiatry.
But are we able to detect this disorder? Failure to diagnose childhood depression can have serious consequences for children, which will affect their development. Hence the importance of knowing this danger, but also the causes behind depression and related symptoms.
For many years the existence of depression in children has been denied. It was believed that they could not suffer it because being so young they could not have responsibilities. On the other hand, today it is known that the child can suffer more worries than an adult because his abilities in the cognitive area still do not allow him to understand many things that happen around him. This creates insecurities and negative emotions leading to depression.
Therefore, depression is a disorder that can affect both children and adults. However, is more serious in children if not detected since it can interfere very negatively in its development. These are some of the consequences of undiagnosed childhood depression.
1. The child will not learn the skills and abilities necessary to socialize in a correct way. Therefore, you will suffer a delay in social development.
2. This process will be the same with regard to the capacities necessary for intellectual development.
3. Undiagnosed depression will affect a child's school performance. Your grades will drop considerably.
4. Your social relationships they will be problematic. Children with depression will want to be alone and their environment will not know how to react because they have not been formally diagnosed.
5. It will happen in the same way when you have psychosomatic symptoms such as headaches, allergies or intestinal problems. Neither the environment nor the affected person will know why they occur.
6. Will be apathetic. The child will not like anything he did before.
7. Difficulty in making decisions. You will not be able to decide as before and you will not know why.
8. Suicide in adolescence. Your vision of life through depression will prevent you from 'seeing clearly'.
In order to avoid the consequences caused by childhood depression, we must be able to identify it in time and, therefore, we must know why it occurs. Childhood depression is caused by the interaction of personal and environmental factors.
Thus, with personal factors we refer to:
Children whose parents suffer from this type of disorder are more likely to suffer from depression. There is a predisposition.
If they have suffered episodes before, if they suffer from any other disease associated with depression, or their personality type affect their tendency to suffer from it.
Deficits in social skills or high levels of anxiety when relating to relationships contribute to the onset of depression.
The environmental factors will be:
- Relationship of parents and children
The relationship between the father and the mother, or the relationship between the parents and the children will affect the appearance of depression in children.
- Relationship between siblings
This type of relationship between "equals" is an influential factor, although to a lesser extent than the parent-child relationship.
- The breakup of the parents
What this entails as a change of house, economic changes, etc. it affects children. All these negative factors influence the onset of depression.
- The way to educate
It has been proven that in homes where the rules are authoritarian and very strict there will be a greater probability of the appearance of this disorder.
Traits of depression can appear at any age, but depending on the stage of development the child is in, these symptoms will affect him differently. This is because, depending on their age, personal factors (biological, psychological and social) will have different influence on the child. Thus, we can see that the predominant symptoms:
In early childhood They are psychophysiological and motor reactions such as: crying, toilet training, or tantrums. Being the symptoms of motor and externalized character.
In an older age as adolescence will be: pessimism, an unpleasant perception of self-image. In this way, the symptoms are more similar in character to those of adults. In addition, they are internalized and present with greater intensity.
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